Band – The Two Tens
Album / Label – On Repeat / Man Della Rocords
Rating – 4.5 / 5

How to describe this new album? Fuzzed-out, fast-paced, melodic punk that wraps its arms around you tightly, while punching you squarely in the solar plexus. All the while, its embrace is comforting.

Without sounding too hyperbolic, The Two Tens sophomore offering on Man Della Records, On Repeat, is simply stated… a winner. Coming so quickly on the heels of their debut album Volume (2016), Adam Bones and Rikki Styxx show that there is no dearth of music flowing through them.

Opening with the energetic title track, Bones and Styxx set the tone of album, pushing forth the frenetic pace with all the aplomb displayed by the Ramones in their heyday. They prove, yet again, that good punk rock music is not dead.

Image courtesy of The Two Tens

We’re transported to the time when melodic punk was being thrust into our consciousness with Crushed Me. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Bones and Styxx can get so much sound out of a guitar and drums, respectively.

Conjuring endless summer days, the melodic wistfulness of Keeping Hope Alive wafts throughout our aural synapses, almost subliminally forcing you to sing along with them. You really can’t help doing so.

Going harder, Stuck In My Head is a straightforward rocker, with Bones crying out, “Can you help me?” Mean Spirit follows, full of a snappiness that makes you want to jump into the pit, arms flailing and bodies knocking into each other.

Taking you back to the 1960’s with melodies that are infused with goodness, Feel So Dumb embodies all that we fondly remember of what made early punk rock awesome. Burden slows the pace, but only slightly. Espousing a definite surf rock melody, the harmonies are simply wonderful.

Stories starts off lo-fi, before kicking you in the ass, as Styxx slams your body with the backbeat. A diamond in the rough, this tune sneaks up on you. They smooth the vibe out with the melodic Streetlight, taking the listener back to a time of lost innocence.

The Two Tens – On Repeat back cover

The distortion-fuzz of Not Alright assaults you next, carrying an almost darker tone, punctuated by Bones’ loud and emotive vocal styling.

Styxx takes the lead on the frenetic Leave Me Behind, an all-out, balls-to-the-wall rocker that clocks-in at just 60 seconds. Yes, kids, she can carry a furious pace on her drums and sing, too! Nerve Damage! keeps the pace high, with harmonies reminiscent of Jan and Dean or The Beach Boys.

Girlfriend Island is almost serene after the previous two tracks, with Bones contemplating a wonderful trip that is easily imaginable with his vocal melody.

Concluding with Friends, they found the perfect track to cap On Repeat. Of the 14 songs that make up their second album, this one ties-in perfectly to the debut effort. Everything comes together in a way that leaves you wanting more, hoping their next album is not too far off.

If your faith was wavering that simple, straightforward rock was a thing of the past, The Two Tens will restore your belief in awesome punk rock.

If you don’t have On Repeat yet, go get it. You’ll be better off by doing so.

Now, if we could get them back to Columbus…

Tracklist

  1. On Repeat
  2. Crushed Me
  3. Keeping Hope Alive
  4. Stuck In My Head
  5. Mean Spirit
  6. Feel So Dumb
  7. Burden
  8. Stories
  9. Streetlight
  10. Not Alright
  11. Leave Me Behind
  12. Nerve Damage! (Unknown Mortal Orchestra cover)
  13. Girlfriend Island
  14. Friends

The Two Tens – Mean Spirit