~ If Confronted Just Go Mad ~
The Twang return with a reshuffled pack after the departure of joint frontman Martin Saunders.
Saunders was a staple in the band and after the announcement that he was leaving it was hard to see where that would leave The Twang, a new lad taking his place would be strange to see live and not replacing him at all would leave a massive void.
The Twang returned in May with ‘Everytime’, the first new single to be taken from the unannounced album that we now know to be the brilliantly titled ‘If Confronted Just Go Mad’. The big curveball with ‘Everytime’ was the introduction of Cat Mctigue who shares the vocals with frontman Phil Etheridge and all of a sudden the fear disappeared and the excitement started to amplify over this new era of The Twang.
Also released ahead of the album has been the obscure but brilliant cover of the 1984 track by The Blue Nile ‘Tinseltown in the Rain’ and ‘Dream’.
‘Dream’ is a paranoid trippy track, with some very random lyrics,
“Playing snakes and ladders on a cherry picker, that girl’s so fat Geoff Capes can’t lift her.“
The track feels like the direct aftermath of spending too much time in the ‘Cloudy Room’ on the Gianluca Vialli (Charlie), leading to paranoia and night terrors later in life. There is a lot going on in the track and this makes it a really interesting tune as every time you listen you hear something different, the track also incorporates The Smiths tune ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’ and ‘I’m Only Sleeping’ by The Beatles.
Although ‘Dream’ is dark, the rest of the album has a feel-good vibe running through it, this is surprising as the last two albums ’10:20′ and ‘Neon Twang’ have both been pretty moody.
‘Lovin State’ is the first track which you hear that hasn’t already been released and instantly it has you hooked with the urgent uptempo riff. ‘It Feels Like (You’re Wasting My Time)’, ‘Izal’ and the most indie-pop, dear I even say it?… The Wombats… Two Door Cinema Club like track ‘Went Walking’ all follow this feel-good and optimistic formula, a formula which also makes the album feel like a whole rather than a few tunes slapped together and released.
A big surprise on ‘If Confronted Just Go Mad’ is ‘Million Miles’, this tune sees bassist and songwriter Jon Watkin take over on main vocal duties for the first recorded time for The Twang. The track gives another direction to The Twang too, similar to the way Oasis had both Liam and Noel. Jon Watkin also steps up to the plate with his backing vocals in the same way that Saunders did in the past.
The biggest standout on ‘If Confronted Just Go Mad’ has to be the rollercoaster of ‘Time Waits’. This has all the elements of The Twang‘s debut album ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’, that much so that this has the potential to be the track that could actually knock ‘Cloudy Room’ from the closing tune in the band’s live set. The track keeps twisting and turning throughout the five minutes with the bridge having a ‘Loosely Dancing’ feel before bursting into a massive chorus which is sure to please and have the fans going mental at the live gigs. During the last two minutes, the repetitive ‘This one’s for you’ has you wondering if this was written during the Saunders period, either way Jon steps up to the plate again and the band produce an absolute banger of a tune with ‘Time Waits’.
The Twang‘s social commentary is one of the big draws to fans and ‘If Confronted Just Go Mad’ has many lines that feel as if they are talking to/about the everyday man, here are some golden lines,
“I used to stress about what people think but I don’t give a fuck no more.” – Lovin State
“You’re my flour and I’m the egg and we’re binding, still I wish that I was a million miles away.” – Million Miles
“I wanna be a bigger man, with a bigger idea and a better plan.” – Izal
“I went walking just to find myself, no other reason than I’d forgotten what it’s like to feel like me.” – Went Walking
‘If Confronted Just Go Mad’ is an amazing return to form for the Birmingham lads and now lasses, the band are sounding the freshest they have sounded in some time, not only that, the band seem to be in a really good place both musically and mentally. If you played all their albums to a non-fan, they would probably say this is the follow-up to ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’. The Twang toured their debut album in full back in December 2017, the tour seems to have reignited some of that old flame. This is the first taste of the new era Twang and I for one can’t wait to see where this goes.
‘If Confronted Just Go Mad’ is released through Jump The Cut Records on Friday 8th October. Pre-order here: https://amzn.to/2C2uomE
(Review by – Marc Whiffen)
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