Finally, after years of hearing them on the local unsigned scene and the festival circuit. The Twistettes give us their debut album, ‘Jilt The Jive’. The first time I heard The Twistettes, I was covering Kelburn Garden Party 2014, it was the Making Things Happen Tent if my ketamine-addled memory serves me correct,and we were literally just turning around to leave when a deafening cacophony of sound fell upon our ears and made us turn back instantly to discover what 9 piece band were dishing out this hurricane of music. Imagine our surprise then, to find two girls, bass and drums, dishing out this delectable, dark, dacryops-inducing wall of sound.
Needless to stay, I pushed down to the front of the small crowd in that tent and went into a moshpit frenzy until the set was over. Flash forward two years, and I have seen and reviewed the scintillating sister duo several times, Kelburn, Boat Party, Mugstock, various gigs alongside Colonel Mustard and The Girobabies and most recently Yellowland. I’ve never grown bored of their set, I am always surprised by how loud and amazing they sound live, no matter how many times you see it, it still takes your breath away at first. First time attendees of a Twistettes’ gig always get a shock and turn to the source of the sound when the Twistettes announce their presence with an atomic explosion of decibels, and that is exactly how it should be… Shut up, listen…and dance!
Shut up, listen and dance might as well be the mission statement for this punk power pairing. So it is with childish anticipation that I download ‘Jilt The Jive’ and slot it right into my iTunes between Turbonegro and Two Fingers… And the sinister yet sultry eye stares at me sidelong from the album cover. I’m excited, I have a slice of The Twistettes’ live experience about to fill my Bose, and therefore the room, my ears, and also, knowing the band and what with my speaker cranked up loud (as it should be if I am to experience this album in all its glory), probably the whole block of flats. Set ears to stun…
The audio assault that comes forth is exactly what I expected, needed and wanted, as opening live favourite, the anthemic ‘I Think Not’ fills my ears and gives me instant flashbacks to every time I’ve jumped around joyously spilling pints at a festival to this very track, with the smell of wet tent and trodden grass and the taste of warm cider flooding back to my limbic system and invoking sharp, crystalline memories out of ale-shrouded fog.
‘On The Radio’ was the first song by them I got into, as it stuck in my head from the first time I saw them at Kelburn, it’s a very groovy number, beautifully contradicted by undertones of extreme grunge. Jo’s soaring voice, the throbbing bass, and the pounding drums delivered by Nicky are a perfect marriage.
That could be considered a slow number, as the next track ‘Unrest Undressed’ kicks us back into full-speed punk mode… A snarling, gritty, headbanging tune that is about as quixotic as we are likely to get from this band with a ‘no fucking about let’s get into bed’ attitude. Energetic and full of grit, with awesome flow. No paplionaceous poems on this album, just full metal mayhem, and streetsmart attitude.
‘The Line’ is another live favourite, and even though the Twistettes’ music is head-on, fever-pitch punk rock, it still possesses a quality that really makes you want to groove, dance, and just basically jump about like a child on his parents’ bed…full of glee and reckless abandon, with a hint of mischief.
Jo has a very seductive, dynamic and captivating voice, whether providing vocals on some of my favourite Giros’ songs or fronting her own band with sister Nicky, it never fails to enthrall, and as she is in two of my top favourite local bands, she is therefore one of my favourite local musicians. A girocentric, gynocentric genius.
The album doesn’t rest on its laurels as it hurls through track after track, with slam-dunk after slam-dunk, and when it ends, as it is short and punchy (like any good punk rock and roll record should be), you can just go right back to the beginning again, it’s that kind of listen-to-twice record. Offering melodic, grimy, attitude-driven music for an age without a Sex Pistols of its own, may I offer up The Twistettes as a more than suitable replacement… A surefire winner for any fan of grunge/punk/metal/rock and the ilk. And a bastion for female music in a male-dominated industry. In a world where bands aren’t loud enough, this is a panpharmacon.
If you need confirmation of this, the album launch is the 23rd of April at Nice N’ Sleazys, tickets are a bargain at six quid, and support comes in the form of the mighty Girobabies (plus special guests) and a Yellow Movement afterparty club night, certain, then, to be an incredible gig. I’ll see you there, in the pit, jilting the jive! Which is like, this new dance craze sweeping the country, you’ll see…
Originally published on NHC Music 17/04/2016