So, before getting started, let’s face facts. There’s no way to look at the Twinemen, a band comprised of former Morphine bandmates Dana Colley and Billy Conway with the addition of Conway-collaborator, Laurie Sargent, without looking a little bit at Morphine itself.
Anyway, it’s hard to pass up the chance to recall memories of being a Kerouac-reading, maladjusted, sex-starved 15 year-old. Glory days, I think they’re called. The memory of purchasing Morphine’s debut album, Good, in a used record store on a family trip to visit my grandmother in Florida seems inseparable from the time. How can you describe the feeling of listening to Morphine, driving around the city at night, in your parents’ car? You’re absolutely unstoppable. Sure, everything is shit, you can’t get laid, you’re working at a gas station, it is after all, your parents’ car, but somehow you’re still moving and so is everyone else, and there’s happiness in that. All of the sexual angst of rock and roll with the mellow facade of jazz, rolled up in one group.
The Twinemen’s newly released album allows a trace of that happiness back, and it catches you by surprise, because after Mark Sandman’s death in 1999, it didn’t seem like that sense of satisfaction would ever be back.
That’s not to say this is a flawless transition, and I’m not trying to imply that the Twinemen are trying to replicate what Morphine once had, though certain points in the album are definitely suggestive in that sense. “Golden Hour” and “Signs Of Life,” certainly show Colley’s singing as remarkably reminiscent of Sandman’s voice. Often, the general tone of the album, the dynamic of the saxophone and drums, the laid-back delivery, and the cinematic sense of space do run through familiar territory, especially that covered on Morphine’s final release, Night.
There is more of a sense of R&B smoothness here. There’s playful experimentation in their approach to each track that any listener can notice and appreciate. There is a wider range of lyric topics, rather than being about playing blackjack and staying out all night, The Twinemen opt to sing about well..I’m not exactly sure what they’re singing about most of the time. For the most part, however, Sargent, Conway, and Colley have managed to put out a successful album, something listenable, emotive, and a little nostalgic. This is a mature release, The Twinemen are all seasoned veterans and you won’t doubt it for a minute.