Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

Let the Lemon Twigs pour warm syrup into your ears

The band mix crunch with sappiness and have a knack for melody, which excuses their plundering of power pop

Grade: A

If you enjoy the sensation of having warm, jangly syrup poured directly into your ear, then this is probably the summer album for you. You might think that syrup cannot, by definition, be jangly. But imagine treacle with popping candy in it – poured into your ear in a kindly manner by a smiling young man.

This Long Island sibling duo have been honing their pastiche for eight years or so and here reference almost every power-pop band that ever existed, from the Byrds via the dB’s to Teenage Fanclub, but also taking in the winsome pop which dominated our charts before the Beatles came along (but post the advent of rock’n’roll) – as well as many less cool contributors to the genre, such as Herman’s Hermits and, gawd help us, Wings. They wave their Rickenbackers about on the superb ‘My Golden Years’ and do a passable imitation of Chris Stamey on ‘How Can I Love Her More’.

‘Peppermint Roses’ and ‘Church Bells’ are Revolver-era Beatles, while the doo-wop ‘In the Eyes of the Girl’ is their affectionate, not to say utterly sappy, take on Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. They get away with this back catalogue plundering largely because everyone is at it these days, but more importantly because they have a knack for melody which predisposes one to forgive them.

The band they most remind me of is their fellow out-of-town New Yorkers, the Gigolo Aunts, who were also able to mix crunch with sappiness – but the Gigolo Aunts possessed a little edge. The Lemon Twigs do not know what edge is, and would not know what to do with it if they suddenly found it.