What happens when a guitarist (from a mainstream band) steps up to the mic depends wholly on the guitarist. Sometimes it works, but a lot of times it doesn’t.
When Weezer’s Brian Bell stepped up, it worked. His side project is a band called Space Twins, and their album The End of Imagining has quickly become one of my favorite records. The band is rounded out by Mike Elliot on drums and the brothers Maloof (Glenn plays guitar and Tim sings, plays bass, and even works the violin). Not haphazardly thrown together, this foursome has clearly gelled and the results are excellent.
There’s a story to this record, and the fourth track, "Yellow Camaro," was actually originally written for Weezer - take notice of this one! The second track, "Rings of Saturn," is a melodic, slow, pretty song while the album overall is consistent, solid, and well produced. This isn’t just a copy of Weezer’s sound in a new band; you will hear sounds that you wouldn’t hear coming from a Weezer album. I will have this album in my CD player for weeks to come, having listened to it since I got my hands on it, and once you listen to it, you will too. So hurry up and listen.
- Drew Kondylas (FMQB.com)
SXSW, Austin, TX - March 14, 2003 @ Aussies
SXSW to a music lover is like Halloween to a child, allowing us to fill up on all the feedback and guitar solos we can take. I was among the many music patrons who went door to door trick or treating for musical goodies. This massive conference brings music acts from every nook and cranny of the globe to Austin, and always receives felicitous responses. This year I will be sending in my thank you card because SXSW truly out did themselves by gracing us with Space Twins. Of all the shows seen, this was the one that left me with a high gloss, lo-fi hangover. From the first note I knew this was the show not to be missed.
Some people at the show attended to catch a glimpse of Weezer guitarist Brian Bell, who happens to be front man of the band, but all left with starry eyes courtesy of Space Twins. Taking the stage for the first time together in two years, the band brought back the marvel of honest rock n’ roll. Weaving a tapestry of divine images with their instruments, the band launched an attack to restore faith in music. From the heavenly "Goddess of Love" to the Chevy driven anthem "Yellow Camaro", Space Twins pumped out songs of visionary mojo and meticulous rock.
The bands camaraderie is prevalent in their stage presence, while their devotion to music shows in their swelling fan base. With a couple of 7” under their belt already, the band is due to release their first full-length CD in two weeks. The beautifully titled 'The End of Imagining' will be available through their website (www.spacetwins.com). The website, wonderfully put together by Keith Bluhm and Paul Karklus (great job guys!) will also be the place to check for tour info just incase you were one of the unlucky who missed out. If you have the opportunity to see Space Twins live, indulge yourself. You won’t be sorry. Space Twins are a sweet relief to these days filled with number bands, confectionary pop, and pseudo rock.
- Brandace Chatman (AustinExperience.com)
"Goddess of Love" / "Osaka Aquabus"
Brian Bell formed the Space Twins before he was a Weezer. And if "Goddess of Love" / "Osaka Aquabus" (Duck Butter Records) is any indication, Space Twins are better. "Goddess of Love" is a moody, melodic song with a bit more experimentation than you'd find on a Weezer album, like that accordion, for instance. But it works! There's emotion oozing from this song that both the pop lover & the indie rocker can revel in. On the other hand, "Osaka Aquabus" is an upbeat, listener friendly song that screams mass appeal. With a sing-song Melody, easy to define lyric, and non-offensive instrumentation. It's all good in an MTV type of way - as well it should be. Space Twins is no slacking-off side project; this is obviously what Brian Bell does best.
- Jeff Matlow (Smug Magazine)
I was told that the next band, Space Twins, was some sort of Weezer offshoot. True to their name, they played a very spacey form of hard rock, which was still rooted in a twisted sort of American pop. Their lyrics featured plenty of celestial images, such as "Rings of Saturn", and the music was filled with spacey effects. Most of the songs featured nice guitar solos, even the vocals were often drenched in atmospherics. I really enjoyed them, and the steadily growing crowd seemed to like them, too.
- Excerpt from Skratch Magazine show review by G. Murray Thomas
Brian & Tim M. also play with Mephisto. Here's a Review from the LA Weekly
Well, the ball is officially bouncing for the hodgepodge underground's Mephisto... at least for one more show. Dustin O'Halloran (Devics) started his "Dark Cabaret" outfit after writing a handfull of songs more befitting a silent-movie theatre than a rock club, combining early-30's Berlin nostalgia with hints of Tom Waits & Nick Cave. That set up a loyal conscription of longtime friends to unfold the entire vision, most notably with Aaron Embry (genius) on piano, accordion and trumpet, and Space Twins' Brian Bell and Timothy Maloof on Banjo and Violin, respectively. Judging haphazard arrangement of fire-dancers, Magicians and rococo bulesque, O'Halloran is evidently after something more than the standard night of live music - he seeks a sensory overload. There is no focal figure, just a collage of LA talent on equil ground. Joining the circus will be the frozen-in-time echoes of Sara Lov (also of Devics) and Scott McPherson from the Ethers.
- Chuckie Mindenhall
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