The duality of one’s own mind is something that many can relate to. Often, people have days in which they struggle to get out of bed, and want to do nothing but sit on their phone, scrolling through an endless ocean of information to keep their minds off of the day’s tasks. Other days, they are ready to go and conquer anything that faces them. The duality of one’s self and other topics of mental health and well being have been expressed through art plenty of times before, and a topic that is always intriguing for listeners. It’s something that’s relatable and a thing that people deal with in their daily lives differently. On Norwegian alt-rock outfit, Dobbeltgjenger’s, latest album, The Twins the band tackles the inner struggles of the mind by splitting these two personalities, the positive thoughts and the surrounding negativity into two rivaling personas, hence the album’s name. For those familiar with Dobbeltgjenger’s high energy music, traversing somewhere in between the worlds of Alternative, Psychedelic, and Progressive Rock at times, the overall concept will not be much of a surprise. The band has always been great at balancing the line between high energy music on the surface while containing darkness within their lyricism and compositional styles. The band has been here before, yes, but they explore these concepts in a deeper light than on previous records, making for a more cohesive listening experience.
Dobbeltgjenger are at their best with their more upbeat, New Wave tinged tracks that ooze with swagger on the surface. ‘Shoot’ is a standout track for this reason, with its bombastic intro that leads into a catchy, loud chorus. The band feel very confident on this track and the listener can tell that they are really putting their whole energy into their tracks. ‘Purplegreenish’ is another highlight for this reason, with moments of heavy distortion instrumentally, lyrical delivery that somehow borders edginess and heartthrob boyband sensibilities at the same time, as well as really fun synth lines throughout. Dobbeltgjenger know how to write tracks that feel like they should be hits being played all over Alternative Radio, or even Sports Stadiums across the world. The most ‘arena ready’ track, ‘Rocket Shoes’ features the band playing around with a lot of glam-rock inspired sounds, shimmering, yet crunchy guitar work is paired with bright synth patterns that back up an aggressive vocal performance throughout this adrenaline-fueled track. The band are able to pair these high energy tracks with moments throughout their songs that make the listener believe that there is a dark uncertainty to the music, making songs feel fun at one moment but leaving the listener wondering what is going on throughout the surface of the album.
Lyrically, The Twins is meant to reflect a moment in life in which you are feeling pulled by opposite thought processes, here resembled by two different people. One is full of happiness, love and an overall appreciation for the beauty in life. The other, is full of negative thoughts, destruction, and chaos. The two ideals battle out for attention throughout the entirety of the album, each constantly wrestling for relevancy. Lyrically, the band balances positivity with cynicism at a very fast rate, which gives the listener the feeling of being inside of the songwriter’s mind during moments of anxiety. On first listen, one may question the relevance of the concept that Dobbeltgjenger has chosen to go for on The Twins, as it feels like the negative, more chaotic twin gets more runtime, which is the case. The fact that we see more of the negative twin than the positive one supports overall emotions and feelings one goes through while dealing with mental health related issues, as it feels like the negative self wins more times than your positive self. With songs ranging from ‘Harakiri Witchcraft, about the recklessness and lack of control one feels while in a state of depression, to songs like ‘Toughen up’ a track about attempting to shake off your negative self thought, Dobbeltgjenger is able to tackle the full range of emotions one goes through during a mental health crisis, doing it with a lot of thought in the process.
On The Twins, Dobbeltgjenger fully realize how they can turn their signature sound into an experience, weaving a narrative of two siblings wanting control seamlessly within the tracks. The band has always played with this duality in a way that has been enjoyable, with their big choruses, followed by darker moments of instrumentation weaved within the track, but there is a real sense of growth as musicians and songwriters that is seen on The Twins. It’s a record that still knows how to rock while weaving deep and important messages within the music. The Twins feels like a springboard for an even bigger and more complex concept record down the road for the band.
Favorite Tracks: ‘Shoot,’ ‘Purplegreenish,’ ‘Rocket Shoes’
Listen to 'Shoot' below, off of Dobbeltgjenger's latest album, The Twins. The album is available for purchase on MP3, CD, or Vinyl here