Twin Peaks and Lala Lala power through curses to deliver the hits at Union Transfer - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Lillie West, the London born frontwoman behind Lala Lala, sinks to her knees in front of a buzzing amp, the light across her face hazy and purple. “My guitar just cut out… I hope to the Jesus of rock it doesn’t happen again,” she says. In the lull that follows she laughs, “Our equipment is cursed, I guess you’re quiet because you’re scared.”

A curse could be more likely than you’d think, with the luck West has had recently. Last year, she slept through a home invasion in her Chicago apartment. She was plagued with episodes of paranoia following the break-in, which coincided with the death of a friend and her recent sobriety. In the period of isolation of that followed, her sophomore album The Lamb was born. Over drum kit beats and shuddering bass, West narrates of mourning lost friends and battling self-destruction.

Onstage at Union Transfer, West doesn’t sound scared or defeated, even in songs like “I Get Cut,” which references the break-in, or “Water Over Sex,” about fighting addiction. She jokes comfortably, and sings with searing intensity. Maybe she feels like a lamb learning how to walk on its own, but she is sure as hell not a victim. The band departs with “Destroyer,” a swelling storm of a song that leaves the room trembling with reverb.

Twin Peaks | photo by Jamie Stow for WXPN

West’s tourmates Twin Peaks kick in the door with “Making Breakfast,” a twanging party rocker that pulls everyone into a dancing frenzy. “I feel like I’m in an old Wild West tavern or something,” vocalist Clay Frankel says while the band adjusts between songs. “We got time Philadelphia, what do you wanna talk about?” But there isn’t much room for talking– the band launches from song to song, a train barreling down a track, an unceasing wall of power. The band is sure dressed for the Wild West, all in plaid and denim, voices warm like a shot of Southern Comfort on a winter night. Clay slinks across stage, shaking his hips. A pair of backup singers dance in synchronicity, emphasizing the 50’s rockabilly vibe.

The band pulls out all the hits, from the dazed “Wanted You,” to the shimmering “Irene.” Long, winding solos to nowhere interrupt “Dance Through It,” off latest album Lookout Low, threaded with bluesy keyboard. While it’s hard not to notice the influences of Cheap Trick or Rolling Stones, Twin Peaks manages to be entirely its own, blending classic rock n’ roll with fuzzy psychedelia, chugging power chords unraveling into instrumental breakdowns. Uplifting closer “Oh Mama” is one final crescendo, a song that rises up endlessly, without ever crashing back down.

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