Polarized, the new record from Dead Twins, comes off as a collection of songs from a group of guys who know exactly who they are—hungry veterans. The band's members have been immersed in the Dallas rock community for a long time now, playing in notable bands Mermaid Purse and The Vanished before they formed this group four years ago. And now, with Polarized (which features Patrick Gathings on drums in place of original member Nick Carbindale), they seem focused and disciplined.
And it's clear that they've trimmed the fat. It's rare to see a full-length record with fewer than 10 tracks, but with only eight songs and one short instrumental, Polarized is concise and to the point, yet remains satisfying. The first track, "Checkmate," kicks in with a drum groove reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop." But the album's most memorable song, "The Hanger," cracks its way into your brain and leaves behind an unshakable chorus, with frontman Gabe Carnindale coming across like Dave Grohl fronting the Stone Temple Pilots.
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The thread that weaves its way through the album here is, clearly, an early-'90s grunge influence. As such, if this record came out 20 years ago, it probably would have been a smash hit. But even today, it manages to stand tall.