The Lemon Twigs is a duo comprised of brothers Michael and Brian D’Addario based out of Long Island, New York. With one full length, Do Hollywood, and an EP, Brothers of Destruction, already under their belt, The Lemon Twigs are ready to take on the world. Their latest musical venture is actually a musical: a fifty-nine minute musical story about a chimp named Shane going through adolescence while being raised by human parents.
On Go to School, the D’Addario brothers showcase their hectic songwriting ability, with frenzied tracks like Rock Dreams, where the vocals capture the listener’s attention forcefully and makes them listen to every word, yet you feel a sense of pure crazed fun while on a surface level, you’re hearing an oddly relatable tale of a chimp facing adolescence while wanting to return to a destructive nature.
Go to School was recorded in their parent’s basement and has tracks that have been teased for years, prime example being track nine, Queen of My School, a four-minute and forty second song that will make you dance all over your bedroom. Yet, the song focuses on a non-serious hookup between Shane and the Queen of School: “I’ve got a huge love/afternoon love with the/Queen of school, yeah, yeah (not a little schoolboy’s love). Later in the song: “Well, she said Shane, boy, be my toy, my pussy/Your employer, yeah (Not my boyfriend)/Just a little in and out, Shane, I want to scream and shout/Oh, she was good to me. While it’s hard and pretty damn uncomfortable to think about a chimpanzee in this type of way, it captures youth in of itself pretty well.
The Twigs share vocals typically on recordings and will switch off on instruments on their numerous tour dates, and on Go to School you can hear their outright talent and pure ability. Some may say that the vocals are all over the place and hard to listen to, but I think they fit the album amazingly. Their musicianship also is showcased on this album through their songwriting. On songs like This is My Tree you can hear Keith Richards’ guitar licks and eerily similar Mick Jagger vocals, and is simply a rock and roll hit. The horns bring you back to Sticky Fingers, they have found their own Muscle Shoals rhythm section. On This is My Tree and a majority of the record, it captures the feeling of a Friday after school, you have no homework, you don’t have work, and you’re going to the show later that night with your friends, and you hit the interstate and drive as fast as you can with the windows rolled down.
Their harsh songwriting continues onto the six minute and five second track The Fire, a single of the album and a staple from the album, Shane is alone and unwanted, and somehow a fire starts in the school that takes one hundred people’s lives, and it seems like it’s Shane that fuels the fire: “And I saw Shane/And everyone was pushing him/And you could really feel his pain.” The Fire is a track that you don’t want to be able to relate to. “One day in spring, it was gym class/that was the only class Shane passed/He was scaling the rope/some cool kid cracked a joke/oh man, he was mad/it was like his ears smoked.” Everyone has had a terrible gym class before; gym is a terrible class. I can’t recall a time though when it’s resorted to a school being burned down and killing one hundred people, but this is Shane returning to his destructive state.
While definitely a step in a new direction, on this record, the Twigs show off their sheer ability in their songwriting and playing. It really is a fantastic album, it will make you want to dance and make you remember a time in school when you felt alone or in love or all of the other emotions you felt, while relating to a chimp. I think it’s fair to say that their creativity and love for the weird overflowed on to this album, name another hour long record about an outcast chimpanzee named Shane, with all songs written and performed by two brothers, one of which can just now drink legally, and the other just got the right to vote. Go to School is an amazing sophomore album, and definitely should fall into your list of favorite albums of 2018.