LA doo-wop duo Twin Temple are a bit of an anomaly. Married couple Alexandra & Zachary James are practising satanists who incorporate their beliefs with their love of 50’s and 60’s rock n’ roll. They dress like extras from Carry On Screaming and sound like a Phil Spector produced band lost in time. Their lyrical themes of sex, Satan and witchcraft have got them on the wrong side of the fundamentalist Christians and somehow, they have found a home amongst the metal masses, touring with the likes of Ghost, Behemoth and Glenn Danzig.
Their debut album ‘Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop)’ was recorded live and in mono over a day and a half in 2019, to get the most authentic sound and it’s a scream from start to finish.
Although the live and rarities opus ‘Stripped From The Crypt’ satiated the coven of Twin Temple a couple of years back, a follow up album has been long overdue. Twin Temple unleashed their blasphemous, sophomore long player ‘God is Dead’ on Friday 13th October and it carries on where the debut left us 4 years ago.
Opener ‘Burn Your Bible’ has all the Twin Temple kitsch 60’s doo-wop trademarks you could ask for. From the sampled rain and ringing church bells to the mid-paced Spector drums, twangy guitars, xylophone and those glorious vocals, you will certainly feel like you’re doing the time warp again.
Of course, this would all be futile if the songs weren’t up to scratch, but Twin Temple have that under their control.
The songs are well (witch)crafted. The previously released singles ‘Let’s Have A Satanic Orgy’ and ‘Be A Slut’ are testament to that and are sure to upset the Christians yet again. The former is a Mariachi styled celebration, the latter a Motown romp of sexual empowerment.
‘Two Sinners’ is one of the most authentic retro doo-wop songs they have released so far. Their take on 60’s girl groups has been captured so magnificently well you would swear it’s a scratchy old 45 from way back when. Those backing vocals, handclaps and just the overall production is timeless.
Then ‘Black Magick’ goes and does it again with lead vocals that will stop you in your tracks and a melody you know you know, but can’t quite place. It all sounds so sweet and innocent until you study the lyrics and realise it’ll never get playlisted on radio.
Even the closing title track is a well-designed coda that sounds like a Dusty Springfield style finale to a satanic, cinematic experience.
Twin Temple could easily come across as gimmicky, but the proof is in the pudding so to speak. And in just 27 minutes, over the course of 8 songs, the satanic duo delivers a bit of a retro-styled masterpiece.
They have more in common with the Ronnettes or the Shangri-La’s than the bands they are touring with, and that association is probably hurting their commercial appeal. But there is so much potential crossover with Twin Temple, and ‘God Is Dead’ deserves to be an album that rises above cult status.
Author: Ben Hughes