Lucky enough to have an insider’s preview of the new Two Tens single, I eagerly double click on the attachment sent to me from the band’s management. I’m immediately hit with a surge of uplifting guitar chords, in tune with the single’s title, Keeping Hope Alive. A few seconds into the song, singer/guitarist Adam Bones chimes in with unmistakable Joey Ramone-esque vocals. Drummer Rikki Styxx accompanies with vintage double hits on the snare, filling out the sound with her signature backing vocals and the song is off to a great start. Rounding off with a catchy bridge, melodic solo and resounding chorus sing along variation, there really isn’t much that can go wrong. The band pays unmistakable homage to The Ramones with a slightly more pop polished sound care of producer John Fields (Dollyrots, Andrew WK, Pink).
The B side is a cover of Little Richard’s Bama Lama Bama Lu, produced by band manager and self-proclaimed control freak Bruce Duff. Here Adam’s vocals are more primal and unrestrained, reminiscent of the late great Lux Interior. While the first side was fun, I’d love to hear more of this raw urgency in one of the band’s originals.
The Two Tens are a duo consisting of singer Adam Bones and drummer Rikki Styxx. In an exclusive phone interview, Bones explained to me how the two got together to form the band. “I was playing in a band and I had a certain way of writing songs and I didn’t want to do that anymore. It was kind of dumb and I got burned out. I wanted to write fun stuff and just strip stuff down. It wasn’t like I wanted to have a certain sound, it was just kind of a simple thing.”
Styxx had been playing with Bones in his old band and Bones definitely thought she was a keeper as far as bandmates go. “I wanted to be in a band with someone I can hang out with and have fun with,” Bones says. He started writing songs with Styxx in mind as a drummer. When he approached her about playing as a two piece, he says Styxx seemed dubious, but luckily, she loved the songs enough to make a go of it. And so, The Two Tens were born.
Bones also discussed cultivating the band’s sound as a two-piece rock band. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t sound too thin,” Bones explains. “We worked on the way Rikki played drums, with a boomier kick drum and heavier floor tom sound. I play out of a guitar and bass amp. I split my signal.” This formula results in feedback that confirms that The Two Tens deliver a ‘full rock band sound’ live.
The Two Tens will be releasing their single on Man Della Records, on the coincidental date of 2-10-17. On 2-11 they will be playing at The Redwood Bar in downtown Los Angeles for their single release party. It is there that they will be previewing their single live for the first time as well.
The band has plans for a full length album release on the same label, which may be proceeded by the release of another single. This will be the second full length release from the band, their first album being Volume which is out on CD and digital formats on Ugly Sugar Records and vinyl via Man Della Records. Other plans in the works for the band include video releases for the album tracks, and a North American tour, all to be firmed up in the coming days. To keep current on breaking news from the band, visit them on the web at:
There’s a new band in town but you can’t get the sound from the story in a magazine…so get out there and buy the single and go see The Two Tens when they come to your town. Support the Two Tens, support local music.