The Twang - Love It When I Feel Like This
Since the start of this year, Birmingham-based band The Twang have been a buzz band. Although they are only a recent signing, as of December 2006, the band have been plugging away for years and so this debut is the culmination of all that effort to get noticed. Recorded at Wolverhampton's Magic Garden Studios - which, if you care, is a fifteen-minute trip from my house by car - Love It When You Feel Like This does a solid job of updating the music these guys obviously love for a new generation of 'mad fer it' folk.
Wide Awake, with a chorus made for a drunken singalong, announced them to a public who seem to be catching up with the hype. Recent single Either Way, featuring a rap from lead vocalist Phil Etheridge that initially put me off with its refusal to shy away from the Brummy dialect, has won over the masses, and that includes me. No wonder, for it's a pretty beautiful admission of love and regret that shows these boyos can do the more emotional stuff like their heroes Oasis. The Neighbour, meanwhile, is both a humorous and slightly menacing retort to a busy-body neighbour who knocks on the door during a particularly bangin' house party. It's this documentation of 'real life' scenarios, charting the highs and lows of day-to-day living, that is at the core of The Twang's inevitable charm. No matter how stubborn you may be about disliking this band, the poignant Either Way-style anthems like Two Lovers will no doubt make you swoon in between doing Bez impressions during the more 'up' numbers like Ice Cream Sundae. Many of these are imbued with infectious dance grooves (and the odd Salt 'N' Pepa steal) that never fully overpower the guitars, the element to their music that has led to the over-egged comparisons to the biggest psychedelic indie bands of the nineties. The influence of The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Flowered Up, etc. is undeniable, although the band riff on their modern inspirations as well (fellow Brummy Mike Skinner certainly had an indirect effect in shaping the overall sound), and this is the band's downfall. They simply aren't that original, especially considering Kasabian have the market cornered in balls-out arrogance-driven rawk. By the time closer Cloudy Room comes around, though, you really won't care; it's their A Certain Romance, a song destined to get the lager-swigging lads and lasses dancing together, grins on faces, at the end of a Saturday night. In this sense, Love It When I Feel Like This achieves its primary aim: to unite the everyman and get 'em moving.