The third offering from Twin Tribes brings more frantically paced tempos, a little bit of anger, and blends that with what we’ve come to expect out of the darling darkwave duo that should leave no one disappointed whatsoever.

Release date: January 26, 2024 | Beso Del Amor Records | Website | Instagram | Bandcamp

It’s easy to gush over this duo. Over the past nine years, Luis Navarro and Joel Niño Jr. have given us dreamy, dreary, yearning tunes to sway underneath the moonlight to. Their previous two efforts, Ceremony and Shadows, both provided shining anthems that filled so many blackhearts, and have made them a common topic in post punk circles. Their minimalist formula of clunky bass lines paired with icy synths, and yearnful vocals provides too much of a hook to ignore, and fortunately for Pendulum, that momentum hasn’t faltered whatsoever.  The ten tracks that compose the whole of Pendulum provide a mix of the dark romanticism we’ve come to expect, with more frenetic robotic energy, and some hints of anger, that fold in well with the more tender, and heartbroken textures. The dancy iciness remains throughout, but the punchier sides show a slightly more evolved sound.

The first single released, “Monolith” gave us a lot of what is to be expected out of the duo. With its midtempo, cauldron bubbling synths, and eerie keys, Navarro’s vocals sounded urgent. The guitarwork does a little bit to contrast, and ease the tension, but everything felt pressed. It’s danceable nature stays throughout, and gives all of us what we want, but overall the duo sounded like they were pushing forward in new, but little ways, like hairline fractures in the foundation.

Pendulum starts with an instrumental track that sets the scene well. As soon as that’s done, no time is wasted jumping into the more frantically paced “Another Life” as Luis Navarro trades in his usual airy desperation vocals, for a more robotic approach akin to Kontravoid and Skeleton Hands. It’s refreshing, and a welcome addition to his bag of tricks, and also provides more kinetic energy to a sweat on the dancefloor tune. That energy carries over into the “Sanctuary,” as Joel’s heavy thudding bassline tethers everything else to the round, leaving the synths to sway and guitar floats ethereal.

“Caldron of Thorns” allows Pendulum to breathe, as it slows things down, but provides the desperate, downtrodden synths paired with the melancholy synths we’ve come to expect from Twin Tribes. It’s a wonderful change of pace that pairs well within the more panicky tunes. “Sangre De Oro” gives the South Texas duo the opportunity to link Smiths-like guitar work with their cultural influences, with all Spanish lyrics, and (at least what sounds like) acoustic guitar work. It’s a charming deepcut track on the back end that offers and delivers a lot.

“Eternal” gives us one more dancier number before they wrap things up with the slower paced “Meadow” and draw direct influence with a call and reply Duran Duran-esque chorus that brings in more new wave texture. It’s clearly my favorite of the bunch, with just a note that says ‘fuckin cool’.

This was an interesting review for me. Being a Dracula, I’ve been excited for this release since it was announced last November. In a true birthday miracle (mine was 1/17), I was able to score an accidental copy of the vinyl release from a local store. I may have bartered and negotiated a little bit, promising my silence if they just let me have the record early, in which they obliged. One of the best takeaways from reviewing the vinyl versus the digital copy, was the attention it draws to both instrumental tracks, “Absolute” and “Paradox”. Both are relatively short, culminating about 3 minutes combined, but do a good job of providing a decent introduction to each side. While “Absolute” quickly sets the stage, “Paradox” works as a decent buffer for Side B, as well as a palate cleanser before “Paradox”. Most likely something I would have overlooked working strictly off the digital release, but was on perfect display upon first spin.

Overall this album is another stellar addition to their discography. Twin Tribes have been on the rise for a while now, and now with their collaborations, stellar live shows, and unbreakable foundation, there doesn’t seem to be anything slowing these two down. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a die hard fan, especially after their spectacular set at last year’s Levitation. May all your dark hearts sway and swoon, as mine surely did while listening to Pendulum.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out a huge hole that was left in the post punk scene this past month, as we all mourn the loss of the amazing Luis Vasquez of The Soft Moon. Twin Tribes understood his impact, as we all should while carrying on with massively broken hearts. You will be incredibly missed, Luis.



"I'm the Osiris of this shit" -Russel Tyrone Jones

Leave a Reply