The phrase 'garage rock' captures a broad swath inclusive both of raw 'n rough rock (think Iggy Pop and the Sex Pistols) and polished modern rock (Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand). The fact that Twin Peaks, Chicago's latest garage rock export, lies somewhere in between — youthful, rough-on-the-edges, but still producing catchy, melodic tracks — is what broke them beyond basements. Or in this case, beyond Chicago's clubs catering to teenagers and into the DIY spots they yearned to play as high schoolers. And then across the nation. This spirit is what drew a sold-out crowd of raucous teenagers, indie rock club regulars and aging rockers to Baby's All Right last week.
The '60s-esque rockers, touring alongside their solid sophomore release ("Wild Onion," via Grand Jury last month), are oft compared to fellow Chicagoan rockers The Orwells. And it's not a bad comparison: both Orwells' frontman Mario Cuomo and Peaks' frontman Cadien Lake have a palpable energy, the signature garage rock drawl and are not yet of drinking age. (That said, other members of The Orwells are several years older.)
Twin Peaks hit rock gold with "I Found a New Way," their rambling, hard-hitting rock single, and it translates just the way you'd expect live. On this track, and others (the slack rock-friendly "Making Breakfast," jangly pop of "Mirror of Time," and in-your-face "Strawberry Smoothie"), the younger contingent jumped, crowd surfed and stage dived without a care in the world. To the point where Baby's All Right, the less-than-a-year-old buzzy Williamsburg venue, lost its rafters. Literally.
There are some stereotypes that go along with attending a rock concert: a sweaty, rowdy crowd; loud guitars and drums; a whirlwind, disorienting sensation. This show hit all of them. Although, honestly, the crowd was almost more vibrant and excited than the band itself. And if that's signifies anything, it surely means you haven't seen the last of these kids.