What makes Twin Forks different from all the other neo-folk revival bands out there these days? All the pieces are in place, pretty much: foot-stompin’ heavy four-patterns! Tambourines! A cappella shout choruses! This Boca Raton-based quartet has followed the template to the letter — with the addition of a female voice in the vocal mix, which is admittedly nice to hear. That’s the difference, I guess.
Not to say that their new five-song EP isn’t a pleasant listen, or that the members of Twin Forks don’t come by their musicianship honestly. Founder Chris Carrabba spent most of the 2000s creating and fleshing out the emo outfit Dashboard Confessional, and he and the rest of Twin Forks (mandolin player Suzie Zeldin, bassist Jonathan Clark and drummer Ben Homola) came together during the recording process for Carraba’s 2011 album of folk/country covers, Covered in the Flood. Carrabba spent three years prior to this EP’s release honing his fingerstyle guitar chops, and the results are apparent on euphoric tracks like “Something We Just Know.” Carrabba has stated that elation is the primary emotion his new band aims to elicit, and there’s no doubt these songs are upbeat and hooky. They were all recorded live off the floor (although subsequently multi-tracked) and the energy of four musicians playing off each other — so much a part of the folk tradition — definitely comes through here, especially on the suitably ragged pub-thumper “Scraping Up the Pieces.”
It’s a fun set of songs, and I wish I could be more enthusiastic about it. It just sounds so indistinguishable from the rest of the Mumford-eers bands around these days that I just don’t know what else to say. If you like those bands, you’ll probably like Twin Forks, too. They’re on tour right now and may be appearing in a city near you, performing not only these and other as-yet-unrecorded Twin Forks tunes, but also the odd Dashboard Confessional song. It’d probably be a good show.
Speaking of “Scraping Up the Pieces,” here it is. Have a foot stomp or two.
Admittedly upbeat and hooky tunes that fit the neo-folk revival template.