Monday, August 9, 2010

Review: The Shamus Twins "Garden of Weeds"

A garden of weeds pretty much describes the music scene these days, but it is also the title of the new long-awaited record by The Shamus Twins. Spearheaded by Jerry Juden and Tim Morrow, The Shamus Twins are all about the "jangle and twang". We last heard from them in 2004 when their self-titled CD made its debut.

For power pop fans, "Garden of Weeds" is an excellent way to spend 30 minutes. The guys have a wonderful sense of melody and can harmonize like there is no tomorrow - seriously, these are truly terrific arrangements. In the half hour it takes to listen to the record, The Shamus Twins run through ten new songs that are largely centered on the pop rock highway, but exit now and then onto sideroads of harder rock ("I Know I Know") or soulful rock ("I Never Been Happy"). While I enjoy the sideroads, the band is at its best on tracks like "You Know My Name" and "Life Is Strange". The masterpiece, however, is "Did You Have To Change", an absolutely charming power pop gem where all of the ingredients gel perfectly. The CD does weaken a bit towards the end - on the last few tracks, the band displays good form at bat but doesn't quite hit the ball.

"Garden of Weeds" gets better with every spin - there is a lot to like on the initial pass, but lots to love on repeated spins. For fans of The Rembrandts, The Meadows, and early Posies.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7

The Shamus Twins on MySpace. Official site.

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