Musical evolution happens rapidly, and it gives us the opportunity to trace artists’ lineages or speculate about their descendants. The halls still reverberate with echoes of the post-punk movement. Modern bands continue to build the genre with increased emotion, originality, and flair. One such band is Twin Ritual—a San Diego based quartet that knows how to interlock guitar, bass, and Novation synth sounds like the best of them. In true, new wave fashion, they marry the upbeat with the ominous. Tone and timbre shine bright while perfect fourths and major seconds create darker, dissonant twists in their latest single, “Metaphor.”
Twin Ritual understands what made the styles of rockers like Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi so definitive in their day. Their use of atmosphere and electronic elements gives the new single pop appeal while maintaining a tinge of that more somber Tom Smith/Paul Banks approach to indie rock. Lead singer Laura Levenhagen exhibits the tender charm of late 80s Morrissey or early 00s Nick Maurer. She colors her words with striking and unexpected harmony. Antonio Estrada delivers a performance that hints at inspiration from guitarists like Michael Zakarin. His precise picking and interesting triads shape the song’s style. Michael Buehl and Anthony Ramirez drive the beat on drums and bass respectively. Their plucky, picked bass line and off-beat emphasis in the chorus make “Metaphor” a standout synth-pop hit.
The outfit from southern California has been featured by Alternative Press, New Noise, and The Big Takeover magazines. They released their debut EP, Hand Through the Mist, with producer Dave Trumfio in 2018 and played Wonderfront Festival the following year. After a lineup change and two stand-out singles, Twin Ritual returns in 2021 to offer their audience an inspired, new release—a felicitous addition to their catalogue.
“Metaphor” is a bouncy dance anthem for tough times. The lyrics are appropriately rich with hyperbole and metaphor, and the music is riddled with hooks. Twin Ritual has a firm grasp on their style and demonstrates genre mastery in their new single.
Written by Matt Kalicky