Twisted has a simple and direct history; Jon Mohajer formed the band in Porthcawl, Wales, then built it up again when he went to university, and now back in Porthcawl, the line up has settled with Nick Russell, Chris Thomas and Livi Sinclair. The punk band take influence from (I thought the whole point of being punk was to make your own sound and not take influence? I think that’s a bone to pick for another time) an array of musicians, ranging right back from 70s artists such as Elvis Costello, The Jam and The Buzzcocks to post-millenium garage-rage. It’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Comprising of fourteen tracks (most under two or three minutes), it’s unsurprising that the originality starts to ebb away after the first handful of them. Whilst the vocal work is a distinct novelty, it becomes a bit… I don’t want to use the term “whiney”, but, yeah, whiney. What commences as attention grabbing and addictive rapidly becomes exhausting to listen to, making this an album less suited to listening to on a commute and more appropriate for turning up very loud after an argument with someone (and preferably slamming the door, too).
When you can get past the slightly tiring vocals, there’s whole worlds of brilliance in the music. Short tracks make everything speeded up, and fast riffs meet a directed fire of energy to inject enough sheer enjoyment into the music to make you hungry for more. Livi’s lyricism is another strength of the album, breaching the gap across personal and political; existentialism, street harassment and stigmas are all covered. Whilst the tetchy vocals mean some of the lyrics are lost around the edges (a tremendous shame, I say), opinion based and love inspired Wholes and Halves makes it as a personal favourite, with special commendation lying in the concertina-esque structure of the track, stretching and bunching to roll the music along.
For determined punk fans, this will be an instant hit to leave them pining for more, for many the album will be a grower with the sound that requiring some getting used to, but I doubt anyone could be totally opposed to this music. If so, the saving grace is that at least each song is short.