The Lemon Twigs: Go to School review – ambitious chimp-centred baroque rock musical

(4AD)

Oh how we laughed when these two teenage former child actors emerged from Long Island in 2016. Their garish soft-rock 70s jackets and mullets made them look like characters from a rejected sitcom. And yet, their acclaimed debut, Do Hollywood, revealed the sartorially idiosyncratic hipsters to be marvellous songwriters.

Two years on, Michael and Brian D’Addario (now 19 and 21) have pushed the madcap envelope even further with this follow-up. Go to School is more theatrical and outlandish, as the pair delve into their Broadway roots for a concept-album-meets-rock-musical. The plot centres around Shane, a chimpanzee raised to think he’s human by his parents, who are “played” on the album by musical hero Todd Rundgren and their mother, Susan Hall, who sings on the debut. Rundgren’s Something/Anything? is still a primary influence, and the strings orchestrations on the goofy The Student Becomes the Teacher could have been purchased from the Beatles, but the increased frantic energy and baroque mania now recalls early Sparks.

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