Review by Tony Rounce
Two is still the new four…
There are a number of excellent ‘duo bands’ around right now, most of whom employ a guitar/drums line up. What sets Scotland’s Twistettes apart from their two-person peers is that they are essentially a rhythm section, with Nicky D’Arc thrashing away on the drums like her life depends on it and her sister Jo playing her grumbling, menacing bass as a lead instrument at the kind of torturous volume that might even impress Spinal Tap, and that will make your speakers spin across your room if they are not sufficiently weighted down.
The big, grimy audio landscape of their adrenaline-fuelled, feedbackalicious accompaniment is the perfect foundation for the duo’s aggressive and angry sounding vocals to build on. Hailing as they do from Lady Sturgeon’s manor, Jo and Nicky sing with their native brogue. It’s not the first time anyone has done this, of course. But you can believe me when I tell you that they are a darn sight more animated – and interesting – when they do so than the Proclaimers could ever be.
If you caught their act at either of their previous appearances at LOUD WOMEN all-dayers, you will already have a fair idea of what to expect from a live Twistettes album – and “Live At Capture Works” will not confound your expectations. Recorded during lockdown while live streaming from Glasgow’s Capture Works, it’s raw and technically unpolished, but it does get right to the heart of what the Twistettes are about, and what they sound like.
The flat, ambient balance of the audio puts you in the room with the two women and provides an exhilaratingly vivid slash of sound, buzzy and hissy and angry but most of all 100% exciting. The repertoire is mostly drawn from the duo’s two previous, highly recommended albums “A Strange Play” and “Jilt The Jive” and although there isn’t space here to detail the individual strengths of the songs there’s one new one called “Tory Cunts” – a ginormous aggressive terrace chant with a lyric that we can all get behind and enjoy singing along with, wherever we are.
Eleven songs performed with gusto and – the relative calm of the hypnotic, almost funky opener ‘On The Table’ notwithstanding – full frontal attack, none of them going much over two minutes, and all of them with something to say that needs to be heard more than once. It’s not easy listening but, let’s face it, the best records seldom are! ‘”Live At Capture Works” is available physically and digitally on Bandcamp. Check it out, you won’t be sorry you did.