Quireboys – Twisted Love Album Review

Twisted Love - Album Cover

September Album of the Month

Great albums start and finish well: Welcome to Twisted Love, the new album from The Quireboys, out on 2 September. The album opens with an unashamedly up-tempo, rockabilly-infused rocker Torn and Frayed and quickly moves on to Ghost Train, sure to be a fan favourite during the band’s autumn tour dates. The album closer, Midnight Collective, presents a completely different side to the band – a soft, atmospheric song whose descriptive lyrics, yearning guitar solo and backing vocals combine perfectly to both arrest and invite you to want more – to play the CD again from the start.

Make no mistake, this was not an easy album for The Quireboys to deliver. Following a trio of highly acclaimed albums since Beautiful Curse and most recently the brave – but well received – change of direction with St Cecilia, the bar was set high for this new album. As confidently as Spike hailed St Cecilia as capturing a new sound for the band, so Twisted Love takes the band somewhere new again, as a complete counterpoint to the previous album. It’s a rocker, a direct in-your-face collection of songs that captures a greater sense of spontaneous energy than its predecessors. The inclusion of Lynne Jackaman on backing vocals adds a fresh twist and Spike’s vocals have, arguably, never sounded better.

In an age where bands can so often create heavily produced studio albums they try to then replicate or interpret on stage, Twisted Love does the opposite. The album captures the live sound fans have come to love from The Quireboys shows and they deliver it on an album. The whole album has a live, performance feel to it and nowhere more is this felt than with the new recording of Gracie B, itself inspired by the recent live treatment of the song. And there is no question Gracie B sounds much better second time round.

After half a dozen listens to the album it was hard to pick one song to preview on my radio rock show, but I had a gut feeling about Life’s A Bitch – a classic Quireboys rocker, and any belter that can be bottled in under three minutes without the track being faded in or out has the makings of a great rock’n’ roll song. The listener reaction to the song was loud and emphatic – and perhaps most telling – excited. Life’s A Bitch along with Shotgun Way capture well the mood of the whole album – confident, live, authentic and fun.

Over the years, some critics and reviewers have criticised The Quireboys for not moving away from their signature style of music. I would argue quite the opposite. They are a band that has proven that quality outlives fashions in music and they have done this on their own terms, without pretention or fuss. Ultimately, today they still sell out shows wherever they go. With their new album, The Quireboys remind us rock’n’roll needs to be real, performed and direct. It can be simple, it can be raw but it has to be fun. On these counts the new album delivers in bucket loads. This is Rock’n’Roll everyone. Welcome to Twisted Love.

Discover more: www.TheQuireboys.com

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