Off Yer Rocka [Release date 16.09.16]
Twisted Love is the tenth studio album release by Spike and co. and it reinforces the fact that the band are still in fine form and as relevant as ever. The album was recorded in the depths of Sweden which Spike says was like ‘being in rehab…again!’ and the band certainly sound lean and mean throughout.
Don’t bother looking for the token ballad track here either as the band set out purposefully to write an album which rocked from start to finish, and after a couple of listens I can confidently say they have achieved their goal.
Opening track ‘Torn And Frayed’ kicks things off nicely with a hard, rocking blues with some impressive keyboard work from Keith Weir. ‘Ghost Train’ continues with the same momentum, driven on nicely by the powerhouse drumming of Dave McCluskey.
The title track of the album features a bit of vocal sparring between Spike and guest vocalist Lynn Jackaman. Lynn has a big, bluesy voice which complements Spike rasping vocal well. ‘Breaking Rocks’ is next up and is a grinding, gritty number, you can almost picture the sweat running from the prisoners doing hard labour in the baking sun.
‘Gracie B (Part II) is a full on electric reworking of the acoustic led track first featured on the band’s last album ‘St Cecelia and the Gypsy Soul’. Here the song is closer to the live version which takes on a harder edge and has fast become a staple of the band’s setlist. The closest the band gets to a ballad is the slower, brooding track ‘Midnight Collective’. This song examines the sleazy and threatening underbelly of New York City after dark, a cautionary tale for anyone venturing to the Big Apple!
This is a great album and possibly one of The Quireboys’ best releases in the last few years. It easily demonstrates why the band has such a loyal following. This is a hard rocking blues album of the finest quality, in fact to quote Spike once more, ‘this is rock n roll’. ****
Review by Dave Wilson
Gig review (September 2016)
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