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The Twang
Jewellery Quarter Julian Marszalek , July 28th, 2009 05:46

Ever since the early 1960s when London School of Economics undergraduate Michael Philip Jagger started dropping his aitches and shortened his name to "Mick" and John Lennon revised his past to become a working class hero, the idea that coming from a lower social economic background immediately ups an artist's rock'n'roll cool has gained a firm yet erroneous stranglehold on the mythology of music. As displayed time and again, it's not where you're from that counts, it's where you're at.

Yet be that as it may, there's always a section of the music press for whom class tourism is titillation at its very best; a view into a world of bingo, scratch cards and The Currant Bun, where the use of fists is better than the use of brains and where the words of Paul Calf make blinding sense. A patronising view at best and those that subscribe to it are always tucked up safely in their metropolitan beds before the subject of their voyeurism turns on them with all the savagery of an Alsatian that's had its Winalot sprayed by a passing tom cat.

How else to explain the coverage and plaudits showered upon Brummie dance-rock urchins The Twang? Always a poor man's version of Flowered Up, the predilection for casual sportswear, cheap U2 chimes and throbbing bass all topped off with lolloping, shuffling beats were enough for those folk for whom Keane reminded them too much of school and double Latin on a wet Wednesday morning. Amazingly, even long forgotten baggy nearly-rans Northside sounded like one of the great, lost bands in need of serious re-appraisal compared to this sorry lot.

And yet... and yet...The Twang are nothing if not fighters and here they are making a radical departure from their signature sound. Well, kinda...we'll grant you "departure" - of sorts - but radical? C'mon...who are we trying to kid? As evidenced by opener 'Took The Fun', the indie-dance sensibilities remain firmly in place even if the delay pedals don't but even so, this is musical gruel devoid of passion, flare or imagination. 'Barney Rubble' cops several moves from David Gray as elsewhere, 'Back Where We Started' sounds like a Black Country parody of The Hold Steady. The result is unintentionally hilarious and one that could see The Twang filed away convincingly in the comedy band section of your local record emporium, while the equally amusing 'Got No Interest' filters Kings Of Leon through the Spaghetti Junction while doubtless proving itself to be strangely prophetic among the record buying public.

The most amazing aspect of Jewellery Quarter is that it got made at all. The Twang could have - should have - slipped away quietly and spared a lot of people a lot of blushes. Instead, with red faces aplenty, they've simply elected to set themselves up as working class zeroes.