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Two Guys

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Two Guys are Cameron Jones on baritone guitar and Ryan Jones on drums. They're brothers. Ryan is older, Cameron writes the songs and sings. They both live in Portland, OR. Cameron spent a number of years living in San Diego, CA. While he was there, he played with a few bands of which you might have heard: Thingy, Pinback and Physics. Right about now, you can't get much sexier than Pinback, though it would be the three or four years spent with Thingy that would make the biggest mark on the younger Mr. Jones. Sometimes he played bass, his first instrument, other times he played drums. Tired of San Diego, Cameron headed north in mid-2001 to reunite with his very first collaborator, big brother Ryan, and, for the first time, step out of the background and into the spotlight.

OK, now you need a little direction, some inspiration perhaps. A guy named Rob Crow was/is also in all three of those San Diego bands. You could consider him and his unusual and innovative style of song-writing (particularly the work he's done in Thingy and Heavy Vegetable) to be a big influence on Cameron. The structures of Crow's and Jones' songs are decidedly experimental, replete with naaaasty time changes, hairpin stops and turns and strange key shifts, all without ever abandoning or sacrificing the pop heart of each song, the ear friendly qualities which endear the listener and let him/her (with some practice) sing along.

While both songwriters share the same uncompromising approach to their work (note the distinct lack of patience regarding the whole rock band name game) and a straightforward, honestly expressive lyricism, the make of a Two Guys song differs a bit from that of its mentor's work. For starters, Cameron plays the baritone guitar, an instrument that gives him some versatility between the sounds of a guitar and a bass. For only two men, they're able to create a fuller, richer sound than you might expect. There's something almost instinctual about their synchronicity. Cameron's songs also contain some sharper edges, slices of black metal and mathy-progressive rock that expose a younger, perhaps darker, perspective. The songs still have a pop heart, but the players are a little more protective of exposing it. In spite of that, you can't help but to hear the emotion in Cameron's voice and the heartbreaking alienation in his lyrics, conveying a uniquely gentle intensity. Recorded is an incredible debut album of subtle contradictions and intriguing complexity that unfolds and endears with repeated listens.