Off Yer Rocka Recordings: Release Date 13.11.20
Young North-Easterners Twister looked to have been building a name for themselves prior to lockdown with some high profile support slots and winning a Hard Rock Hell Battle of the Bands competition, so with gigs off the menu for now the release of their first album is a timely opportunity to build further momentum.
Brigaded in with the New Wave of Classic Rock (NWOCR), they are actually far removed from the retro blues and southern rock inspired sounds that predominate in that movement and in fact their influences I could discern are firmly from the current millennium.
The instrumental title track builds tension very effectively before ‘Save Us Yourself’ kicks in with a catchy guitar melody and the modern rock style chorus is convincing too. Some heavier riffing mid-song is replicated on both ‘Young and Affected’, and current single ‘Call to Arms’, aggressive yet still anthemic in a way that reminded me (dare I say) of LostProphets or, more recently, Those Damn Crows.
‘Natural Survivor’ is another gem with a catchy guitar melody and a strong uplifting chorus while ‘Trees’ is among a number of songs with a power pop feel, ‘Trading Hearts’ being another example of how they steer away from traditional style solos- instead using lead guitar as a melody line.
The arrangements are very tight with not an ounce of flab, but the one downside is a slight lack of variety in tempo, though I found the one piano-led ballad ‘Mystery’ a little dreary and too close to contemporary pop. Some of the other songs, notably ‘Monroe’ also verge on more indie territory while vocalist Stevie Stoker has hints of Thom Yorke and Matt Bellamy in his voice, which may further divide opinion.
However the catchy ‘who-ohs’ of ‘Feeding Frenzy’ and a rawer, hard hitting closing duo of ‘Fist Fight by the Waterside’ and ’64 White Lies’ are far more satisfying and I can imagine being anthemic live tracks in a Foo Fighters or Those Damn Crows mould.
It’s an album that requires a degree of open mindenedness as it is not a traditional classic rock or metal album but at the same time could open Twister up to a variety of audiences. A very accomplished and promising debut. *** 3/4
Review by Andy Nathan
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