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The Twinkeyz: Sacto N(o)ew Wave

Honestly, I get insulted when acts from the mid-seventies find themselves compared to the Cle – Akron axis of bands (Ubus, Devo, et al). For the most part, no other cadre of groups, working so early in the decade, issued a consistent catalog. And Sacramento isn’t any different. Certainly, Ozzie has a place in record collector’s hearts. More over, Tales of Terror were a good band. But that was a bit later.

Either way, though, the Twinkeyz aren’t a bad group. But really don’t warrant the kind of enthusiasm the internet has poured forth. And certainly being contrasted with CLE bands doesn’t do the Cali group any good. Yeah, there’s a sort of robotic persistence of vision, but that’s subverted a bit by Donnie Jupiter’s vocals.

That being said, “Twinkeyz Theme” is a gnarled piece of electro-punk that does easily sit upon an elevated echelon of musical greatness akin to Devo’s finest moments. There’s a dumb thud pushing the track forward. And with the dancing synthesizer noises here and there, it’d be difficult to cue this track for anyone other than folks with most acute appreciation for weird.

While the Twinkeyz might be amidst a brief wave of appreciation, one of the more impressive aspects of the group has to do with being able to skirt most of the seventies’ hard rock nonsense that most other ensembles from the time were bogged down with. Even Rocket from the Tombs, while attempting some singer-songwriter stuff under the guise of being a rock band, fell into the trap. And Ozzie is pretty much all that influence. And while lauding a group from not falling into a then current musical pratfall isn’t the exactly the most complimentary thing, it has helped the group’s music age better than some of its cohort.

Figuring its strong suit, the Twinkeyz still give listeners work like “Wild Love.” Again, the track isn’t abhorrent, but without that odd and twisted guitar sound, it wouldn’t be too far beyond a bland power pop ditty. Of course, folks who are still hip to skinny ties might find the offering of comfort, but apart from that, there’s not much to keep listeners engaged here.

Home town aesthetics are often times difficult for outsiders to pick up on, so maybe that’s my problem (one of many). But between the Twinkeyz and Ozzie, it’d be hard to sell me on another band of that vintage hailing from Cali’s embattled capitol.