“I’m twenty-three and I still call myself a teen … Nothing is left. Nothing here to see.” After a somewhat meditative introduction with acoustic guitar and keyboard drones over muted ruminations, Cyber Twin’s new record rip-roars into “Half-Full Forty,” a speedy anti-surf (there’s no waves!) party anthem in the vein of “Rockaway Beach.” On follow-up track “Abendroth,” Mike Flaig’s crunchy tight guitars and snotty, yet melodic vocals make it even more apparent that the group’s true kindred spirit is a mid-Nineties Green Day, long before they donned eyeliner and went to the opera.
Bassist Calah Mortensen offsets the comparison a bit by singing lead on “Grey Grass” midway though. This actually makes the EP flow like a dialogue between two people, equally restless and dissatisfied with both each other and themselves. “In and out, let’s fight it out,” they vow. Even at that point the group still sounds like they would have fit right in on Lookout Records. These tracks are lean pop-punk gems with no frills, propulsive percussion courtesy of Michael Ginsberg, and a heavy dose of lyrical self-deprecation. On “Mouth Breather // Bottom Feeder,” Flaig repeats the mantra, “If I’m lucky I’ll forget everything.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
-Whurk Magazine (Craig Graziano)
If you’re someone like me who think that Green Day put out their best work in the late 90’s with records like Insomniac and Nimrod, then Cyber Twin has the perfect record for you.
"The Virginia based trio begin the EP with the sole acoustic track “Intro”. The opening line “Twenty-three and I still call myself a teen” introduces us to what will remain a constant lyrical theme throughout: classic angst and apathy. Lines like “Is there any place you don’t exist” and “There’s a place where grass is grey and all my dreams are dead” perfectly portray what it feels like to be 20-something and stuck in a seemingly-endless rut. The two vocalists Mike Flaig and Calah Mortensen’s vocals stand out while sung alone, but also pair really nicely together with Flaig’s classic pop punk snarl and Mortensen’s song-bird like falsetto singing voice.
Flaig’s exceptional guitar playing is a clear standout on this album. He’s able to hang back with simple riffs and palm-muting but also showcases face-melting solos on songs like “Half-Full Forty” and “Comply or Die.” Michael Ginsberg’s incredible drumming makes this record a legitimate banger from start to finish, with explosive drum beats on songs like “Mouth Breather // Bottom Feeder” and “Half-Full Forty”. The bass isn’t pushed to the forefront often but when it is, Mortensen provides punching, growling riffs on tracks like “Mouth Breather // Bottom Feeder” that push the songs that much further and really help fill them all out.
This record draws obvious comparisons to late 90’s / early 2000’s pop punk bands like Green Day and Sum 41 but also show similarities to modern DIY bands like Upset and RVIVR. My favorite tracks are “Abendroth” with it’s straight forward pop punk palm-muting and bouncing verses as well as “Grey Grass” with its sung melodies, harmonized “woahs” and catchy hooks. This is a truly great punk rock record that puts into words the feeling of being a stagnant millennial. Definitely be sure to check it out on bandcamp and pick it up on cassette!" - Great Job, You Guys!