Like all rational people we here at The Flyover believe Twin Peaks to the single greatest work of art in the history of mankind, not least of which because David Lynch and Mark Frost’s surreal small town murder mystery (due for a Showtime revival in 2016) is set in a vibrant and distinct locale that is not New York or Los Angeles. The series’ influence is apparent in virtually every great show oft-referenced in “Golden Age of Television” think pieces littering the internet, but plenty of others have written about that already. What we’re concerned about here is a sincerer indicator of canonization: imitation. In this series of posts we’ll be examining the many Twin Peaks rip-offs, across all media, that appeared in the groundbreaking show’s wake, eventually to be compiled into one definitive ranking.
Please note that the term “rip-off” is used (for the most part) affectionately, so don’t get your panties (or cherry stem) in a twist. Make your own suggestions or tell us how wrong or right you think we are in the comments if you feel like it.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DREAMS (album by Littlefoot, 2014)
Even the cover to this album, with its black and white checkered floor, darkened pines, and 50s fashion, is reminiscent of Twin Peaks. From the opening notes, Night of the Living Dreams’ thick, twangy Duane Eddy guitar sounds and classic pop structures signal Littlefoot’s affection for the same touchstones that informed Badalamenti’s score and Julee Cruise’s Floating Into The Night album. Picture James, Donna, and Maddy covering “Worrydoll” as the B-side to smash hit “Just You”:
And “Fever Dream” could soundtrack the sultriest of Louise Dombrowski’s flashlight dances:
The band even covered the Peaks soundtrack at one Halloween show, dressed in full Peaks regalia!
But all of this isn’t to say that what Littlefoot does isn’t unique. Their sound is less produced, punkier and surfier, singer Erika Sutherland’s voice more grounded than Cruise’s ethereal pipes but nonetheless impressive. Most importantly, Sutherland’s songwriting, like Badalamenti’s, transcends mere pastiche. I especially like the title track:
Littlefoot is better than a rip-off. Littlefoot is a worthy spiritual successor to Peaks’ musical legacy. The album is available on the band’s Bandcamp page, but I have a vision, fresh and clear as a mountain stream, the mind revealing itself to itself. In my vision, Night of the Living Dreams is issued on vinyl where it belongs.
TENTATIVE RANKING: Top Tier