Love It When I Feel Like This
reat losses sustained to the UK under ten years of Blairism #1: the Friday night dust-up. Back in the day, a good old fashioned pagga was the highpoint of an evening’s drinking for both participants and spectators, especially if one combatant forgot to wear a belt and thus got pantsted before getting kicked unconscious. Nowadays though, inquiries as to someone’s availability to step outside are more likely to result in shots being fired by one of the many jovial Turkish drug dealers that frequent Britain’s more rundown drinking joints. Edward’s, mainly.
Anyway, the Twang would have you believe that they’re nostalgic for those golden days. It’s more likely, however, that they’re a bunch of students that have spent far too much time watching episodes of “Street Crime UK.” They’d like you to believe that they’re a little bit tasty. So they go on about how their gigs always end in mass brawls. They boast about how they ran and rucked with football firms early in their career. They dress like de rigueur casuals from somewhere in 2003. And they write songs like “The Neighbour.”
“The Neighbour” is a uniquely contemptible song, and not just because it sounds like the Ordinary Boys before their A&R; man went “I dunno... have you thought about ska?” “The Neighbour” is a creepy revenge fantasy detailing how the Twang would have, you guessed it, a neighbour who is a bit of a nightmare to live next to. Perhaps he keeps shouting “TURN THAT FUCKING SUB-DANNY DYER RACKET DOWN YOU INSUFFERABLE CUNTS” at them. Who knows? Anyway, the Twang have got a plan. They’re going to do nothing. For a long time. And then perhaps one day they’re going to beat him up in a pub during Sunday lunch. You know, because that’s how fights actually happen.
The Twang are a band who have absolutely no idea about hooks, be they musical, lyrical, or left. They’ve got the basics down pat: the entire album is filled with studied and affected “attitude,” which is probably meant to call up some kinda spirit-of-Madchester circa ‘91 vibe, but actually makes them sound a lot like a baggy version of Sum 41. They roll with faux-Marr guitarwork, massively mistaken attempts at sounding “shambling” on an album that’s been overproduced to within an inch of its life, and that perennial modern staple, the nomadic accent. These guys are from Birmingham’s suburbia, which would ideally lead to the sound of Timothy Spall spitting a little heat over sixteen bars. Instead vocalists Phil Etheridge and Martin Saunders can never decide if they want to stick to that “avin’ it” Madchester schtick of the music they’re parroting, or the Sarf Lahndan “sort it aaaaaart” sound of violence that they’re fetishizing. At no point do they ever sound like they’re from the Midlands. Mike Skinner remixes a track on the bonus CD here, by the way. I’m implying nothing.
From Kenny Rogers to Too Short, random acts of unkindness have made for great music. But the Twang haven’t lived that life, and they certainly don’t understand it. Love It When I Feel Like This? Imagine a Ben Sherman boot stamping on a human face—forever.
Reviewed by: Dom Passantino
Reviewed on: 2007-07-13