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The Twang - Jewellery Quarter

The Twang, Jewellery Quarter

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

IF THE Twang’s debut album was a hit-and-miss effort, their sophomore effort Jewellery Quarter is much more polished.

Recorded with the help of Neil Claxton in Salford’s Blueprint Studios, it’s an effortlessly engaging collection of songs that mark a major step forward for the band in terms of accessability and appeal.

The omens were good following the release of the chirpy Barney Rubble, a pleasurable joyride of a single that came with shimmering guitar licks, a busy shuffle-style beat and a beauty of a chorus (buoyed by the lyrics “what I really want is you, what I really want’s a night with you”). The harmonising worked a treat and encompassed all that was positive about listening to The Twang first time around.

Fortunately, it serves as a precursor to the general quality that’s common-place on the sophomore album.

Opening track Took The Fun, for instance, succeeds by virtue of its cute mix of tinkling piano licks, lively beats and “la da dey oh” harmonising.

Twit Twoo, conversely, adopts an electronic pulse that marks an interesting change of musical emphasis, while the throbbing dancefloor filler Put It On The Dancefloor is groovy and indie-esque (a la The Happy Mondays anyone?).

But evidence of the LP’s ability to really work its way into your heart is best found in songs like Encouraging Sign, which drop killer choruses (“I’ve a quick step over the rooftops to get to your house; it’s my heart that you’re stealing…”) over warm mixtures of acoustic guitars and piano chords.

And Back Where We Started, which deliver some shimmering indie hooks to really offer a ’90s throwback while offering the mix of speak-sing and straight sing that are something of a Twang hallmark.

The orchestral flourishes that come with Live The Life provide evidence of the band’s burgeoning confidence and ambition, but Williamsburg emerge as stronger offerings by virtue of their intimacy. It’s a slower track but one that encompasses some interesting guitar riffs and some of the best songwriting on the LP.

Album closer Another Bus brings down the curtain in under-stated fashion, by way of a piano-led mid-tempo ballad that eventually unfolds into the type of guitar epic that Coldplay fans would be proud of.

But it’s also a subtle statement of intent – that they intend to keep growing in stature as a band. With Jewellery Quarter, they’re taking some big, encouraging steps in that direction.

Download picks: Barney Rubble, Encouraging Sign, Put It On The Dancefloor, Williamsburg, Another Bus, Took The Fun

Track listing:

  1. Took the Fun
  2. Barney Rubble
  3. Twit Twoo
  4. Put It on the Dancefloor
  5. May I Suggest
  6. Encouraging Sign
  7. Got No Interest
  8. Back Where We Started
  9. Answer My Call
  10. Live the Life
  11. Williamsburg
  12. Another Bus

  1. Totally agree. Love this album, not a bad track on it.

    Liam    Aug 3    #
  2. Great review, really enjoying listening to the new album, and some great songs conducive to live performances on it, which is what the twang are all about.

    Villa-dave    Aug 5    #
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    Sara    Aug 19    #