Rise Twain – Rise Twain: CD Review

press cover

I get a buzz when listening to music I can’t immediately categorise or pigeon-hole. That’s generally because there is a progressive nature within the band, and their efforts have therefore not been in vain! Sure, there will usually be some reference points, but they won’t usually cover the whole gamut in one glib go. More often than not they are often scattergun hints to try to give the reader a hint of what they are listening to.

So it is with this Philadelphia-based duo, with some elements of Anathema, Beardfish, Toto, Radiohead, Guilt Machine, Mansun, Jeff Buckley (read on) as they offer material ranging from anthemic to plaintive, grand to intimate, inventive to devastating. 

This union of Brett William Kull (producer, audio engineer, member of Echolyn) and J.D. Beck (author & playwright) has brought together forward-thinking songwriters with many collective years of direct and varied music experience. Some bands grow and mature, others emerge fully formed. This duo are most definitely full-fledged. They brood, they soar; they express heart-wrenching anguish and measured serenity; they are prog, alt-prog, post-prog, pop-prog and non-prog. Kull himself hits the nail on the head with a comparison to Jeff Buckley on Beck’s vocalisations:  “To me, Buckley was progressive. You couldn’t really put him in a box, he did everything from R&B to gospel to rock, and he was such a great singer/songwriter. That’s what pulled me towards J.D., he has those vocal chops and he writes a lot like that. That’s the cool thing about what he and I are doing, it’s a blending of a lot of different vibes.” 

I am not sure what a lengthy, exploratory review detailing every compelling and calming aspect would achieve, when this is best heard in its wholesome, glorious entirety by you, dear reader. Experience the plaintive and uplifting soundscapes for yourself. Before you will be a rich sonic tapestry of evocative moments, emotional immediacy, subtle power and dramatic colour. Take time to listen to it and enjoy the instant delights, but then listen again (and again) to discover the gorgeous subtleties, where every note, tone, sound and nuance is perfectly placed, and where the familiar seems original and the unique sounds like an old friend. 

Rise Twain – Rise Twain (50:18) 

1 – Everspring (03:22) 

2 – Golden (06:11) 

3 – The Range (04:42) 

4 – Lit Up (05:03) 

5 – Death of Summer (06:29) 

6 – Oh This Life (03:12) 

7 – Prayers (04:48) 

8 – Falling Skies (05:49) 

9 – Into A Dream (05:39) 

10 – That Is Love (05:03) 


J.B. Beck – Piano, lead and backing vocals 

Brett William Kull – Guitars, bass, percussion, keys, lead and backing vocals 


Discography: 2019 – Rise Twain 

Selected Discography: Brett William Kull

With echolyn 1991 – echolyn 1992 – Suffocating The Bloom 1993 – …And Every Blossom 1995 – As The World 2000 – Cowboy Poems Free  2002 – Mei 2005 – The End Is Beautiful 2012 – (Untitled) 2015 – I Heard You Listening 2015 – Various B Sides (1996 thru 2015) 

With Ray Weston and Paul Ramsey  1997 – Still, Always Almost 1997 – Always Almost, God Pounds His Nails 

Brett William Kull Solo Albums  2002 – Orange-ish Blue 2007 – The Last of The Curlews 2014 – Triggers and Loves: A Collection of Hard Drive Skeletons 2017 – Open Skies Exploding 2017 – Various B Sides (2012 thru 2018) 

With Grey Eye Glances 1997 – Eventide 1998 –Painted Pictures 1998 – One day Soon 2000 – If I Was 2002 – A Little Voodoo 2003 – Grey Eye Glances Live 

With Francis Dunnery  2009 – There’s A Whole New World There 2010 – Louder than Usual, Live in Seattle 2017 – Live in Japan  

With Katie Barbato  2018 – The Art of Falling 2019 – Long Night Moon  

Selected Discography: Jeremy David Beck

With Beck-Fields 2013 – Vesuvius 2015 – Hone 2015 – Sophia 2016 – NoResidency Live at the Art Dept. 2017 – Ethereum 2019 – Elan Vital  

With The Scenic Route 2005 – (Self Titled) 2008 – North  

Classical Compositions 2000 – Piano Quartet No. 1 2001 – NeoArsnova for Choir  2002 – String Quartet No. 1 Fell’s Departure   

Books  Shift, A Response in Four Parts Savant Reign 


Online:  https://www.facebook.com/risetwain/

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