Nineteen-year old Canadian identical twins Tegan and Sara are at their most effective onstage with a pair of microphones and two acoustic guitars as they weave comical stage banter and colorful anecdotes into an all-original folk-rock set. On record, however, you only get half the picture; infectious songs, vocal prowess, and an appropriately "live" production are in plentiful supply, but there is little sense of the self-effacing humor and dual sparring that make the pair unique.
Musically Tegan and Sara are clearly influenced by grrl folk-rockers (Ani DiFranco is the most obvious inspiration, although there are hints of Tori and Alanis too), and while they wear their influences on their sleeves, songs like the raunchy opener "The First," the strident "Superstar," and the altogether sweeter "Not With You" show them to have talent enough to transcend such comparisons. The fact that there are two of them helps, and the sisters make the most of this with inventive harmonies and rhythmic canons, their similarly toned and strikingly articulate voices blending to dramatic effect.
With not a lot of room to maneuver in the female folk-rock arena, Tegan and Sara will have to work hard to be heard. But with the blessing of the greatest folk-rocker of all, Neil Young (who has signed them to his label), they''re off to a better start than most.