Deceptively remarkable

Dammit. I hate good albums that don’t reveal their excellence right away.

There’s a maxim that states, “Never trust an album that takes more than three listens to like,” and Dr.StrangeLove’s Twin Suns fails that test miserably.

The first few listens of Twin Suns leaves listeners with the impression that the Japanese duo of Takamune Negishi and Susumu Osada are studio whizes who aren’t necessarily the best interpreters of their own songs.

Takamune has already made a name for himself as a producer, most notably lending his prowess to Cocco and her scorching brand of rock.

But after a while, it becomes apparent that Dr.StrangeLove’s brand of expertly-crafted, fiercely-independent pop music could be written and performed by no one else.

The album starts out incredibly promising with a title track that’s pretty much a drummer’s showcase. The harmonic guitar hook, while catchy, isn’t the real focus of the song.

After that, Takamune and Susumu trade very untrained vocals on a series of songs that range from neo-Duane Eddy twang-rock (“Be Off the Moon”) to drum ‘n’ bass-driven pop (“The Wild Age”) to mid-90’s psychedelia (“Love on the Air”) to ambient, Lennon-esque balladry (“Dolly”)

This album is gloriously all over the place, and after a while, the pair’s lethargic, off-key vocals aren’t all that bad.

But man — the marketing department at Pony Canyon probably lost a lot of sleep trying to figure out how to plug this album. An American indie label would probably have just as many problems.

Dr.StrangeLove embraces bits of electronica and a whole lot of post-punk, early-psychedlia in its songs, and it’s a combination that’s rings familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

Does that make sense?