My phone is vibrating, but no one has called or texted. The responsible party? Athens, Georgia’s Twin Tigers—specifically their marvelously room-rattling waves of distortion-rich shoegaze.
The Thunderbird Lounge crowd seems a bit unsure when the quartet starts out; tonight’s Neon Reverb showcase at the Aruba has been a fairly low-key affair thus far. But it’s not long before all eyes and ears in the crowded saloon are locked on a band many—myself included—will later call the festival’s most impressive visiting act.
Twin Tigers bring the noise, but they also deliver engaging melodies, most of them drawn from impressive 2010 full-length Gray Waves. Frontman Matthew Rain and bassist Aimee Morris don’t harmonize so much as crash boy-girl vocals into one-another, while Morris’ chunky basslines and Doug Crump’s manic drumming push the dense soundscapes forward. Still, at set’s end, its Forrest Hall’s distorto-soaked guitar work that earns the most buzz. “It’s something to strive for,” says Hungry Cloud guitarist Sean Villaros, echoing the sentiments of a lot of musicians present on this night.