Making it as an underground musician in NYC/Brooklyn has never been an easy task, but these days it seems harder than ever between the ever rising costs of living, venues that are shutting down left and right, and the further bifurcation of musical tastes into micro-targeted niche genres. Here at Heavy Blog we do what we can to shine a light on bands and artists we think are great or have potential to be great but often don’t have a significant following or the means to market themselves. Such is the case with the eclectic to unclassifiable mashing of hardcore, noise rock, and self-described “glam-metal” that is the drum and bass duo Tween.
Before I go any further, I do need to disclose for the sake of transparency that the two gentlemen who comprise Tween, Anthony Kingsley (bass, vocals) and Matthew O’Koren (drums), are personal friends of mine. However, being someone who I think most would agree is a man of principle, I bring them before you all because I do believe they will catch the interest of at least a few of you who read this column regularly.
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The first thing that really caught my attention about their music is the sheer rhythmic depth and diversity of it, which shouldn’t be at all surprising given the instrumentation and backgrounds of these two. Cycling between daggered synchronized punches, off-kilter riffs and patterns, and furious outbursts, their music is dynamic and rarely predictable. ‘Birthright’ is a good place to start to grasp what they’re all about, O’Koren’s jackhammered and meticulous drumwork fusing with Kingsley’s fuzzed-out basslines and vocals that range from mid-range barks to melodic yelps. There’s a shocking amount going on here given the relative simplicity of instrumentation and styles they’re working in.
The material they have available on their Bandcamp is a good start, but having seen their live show recently I can say that they’ve already got a lot of newer material that’s even more daring than Cosmopolitan, an example of which is embedded below (full disclosure again, edited by yours truly).