Manchester offers up its latest rock offering.
Keira Burgess 2009-04-24
Manchester offers up its latest rock offering, with a refreshing reference to several decades past, rather than the predictable, and disconcertingly omnipotent Britpop stalwarts.
Oldham's Twisted Wheel have kicked off life in the mainstream with all the right endorsements. Liam Gallagher loves them, and they've already toured with Oasis. Next it's a headline tour of more modest venues, before warming up for Weller.
Their self-titled debut is suitably simple rock, but perhaps it's time for the brothers grim and the aging Modfather to allow bands of this ilk to step out of their shadows, and - dare it be suggested – stop coasting on the coattails of whatever young pretenders conveniently happen along.
The album owes more to punk than to the 60s sounds coveted by the scene's supposed forefathers: the pace is unrelenting, the musicianship is tight and there's no room for repetitive choruses, which generally drag songs of this genre past the pompous five-minute barrier.
Single Lucy The Castle shows off singer Jonny Brown's talent with intonation and emphasis, opening the record with the positive sell of a live feeling song. The energy rarely falters; You Stole The Sun is frantic thrashes under a raw vocal shout – a shout which includes the infinitely pleasing alliteration of the lyric ''I suck on a strawberry split''.
There are low points in the playlist: Strife owes far too much to a perceived obligation to sound like The Libertines and the Arctic Monkeys, while the lyricism in We Are Us is somewhat lax. Rhyming ''you'' and ''do'' is one thing, but returning to ''you'' for the third line can be perceived as an unfathomable lack of creativity.
Overall, the sound on this album is more intricate than can reasonably be expected from a three-piece rock group, and there's well conveyed passion that creates lingering longing to see the Twisted Wheel in action.