The Twang burst onto the indie rock scene in 2007 with their first album, Love It When I Feel Like This. NME claimed them to be the best upcoming British band but no sooner had they found their feet that they fell into the background. Since then the band have been producing some top quality tunes but unfortunately they have never had the acclaim they once had.
The original band members have changed recently due to the drummer Matty Clinton stealing £10,000 worth of studio equipment. Now the band is comprised of vocalist and guitarist Phil Etheridge, guitarist Stu Hartland, bassist Jon Watkins, vocalist Martin Saunders and new drummer Ash Sheehan.
10:20 definitely echoes the feel of their last two albums but it seems that without the second track, ‘Mainline’, the album would not really have that much to say. This was the first track I listened to off the album and I was impressed to hear a mixture of catchy, poignant lyrics alongside the fullest instrumentals I have heard in a while on an indie rock album. The chorus of “You ain’t got nothing, if you ain’t got love” could have come across as generic if it was not followed by the ending of the song which is a build up a great variety of instruments culminating in a sorrowful solo trumpet playing over the chaos beneath it.
Unfortunately this track set a precedent for the rest of the album and I must admit that I was disappointed with the remaining songs. As ‘We’re A Crowd’ and ‘Take This On’ played I could not help thinking that I had heard a similar sound a couple of years before. The songs were repetitive and lacked the fresh feel of ‘Mainline’.
However, a band does not always have to bring something new if what it had already was good. ‘Mainline’ ventures into the realm of politics and today’s societal problems, which I felt marked a new direction. But then the album moves away from this and I do not think this is a completely bad thing.
What makes this album memorable is its nostalgia. It is relatable and has a decent dose of teenage angst that is definitely still relevant for those in their twenties. It was this that made me listen to songs like ‘Paradise’ and ‘Tomorrow’ again and again. The lyrics are simplistic, “All I wanted was your time, all you ever gave me was tomorrow”, and the accompanying music gives the song movement and vitality that so many acoustic musicians lack today.
I would definitely say 10:20 is, in a way, unique. It is not trying anything particularly new or pretentious and the album is catchy and listenable. If I was writing an essay on a rainy day I would definitely give it another listen.
Frankie is listening to Toots & The Maytals – Monkey Man