Having had the pleasure of reviewing their previous Sluttier Than Thou EP and playing well received tracks on the Audioburger.com radio shows, it was no surprise that there was a tingle of excitement when UK punk rockers Twinkle and The Sluts recently released its self-titled successor. As the first EP, the release is a DIY treat of enterprise and attitude from the band which like the sounds inside, takes emotions back to the refreshing early days of punk. Consisting of five stomping tracks the new release is blessed by and suffers from the same essences as their previous record and is equally as pleasing and rewarding.
Musically the band have not exactly moved forward but then with a sound which is aural contagion whilst chewing on the senses it is hardly worth mentioning. Production like with the first EP does throw up issues from their DIY stance, making some moments feel bare and starkly raw when a little polish is needed but again back in the late seventies when this was the norm as bands broke free, we loved it. Again the collection of songs shouts out the potential of the band ahead whilst bringing a greatly satisfying riot in the now to engage in. Twinkle and The Sluts are one of the more impressive emerging rock bands in the UK, their blend of sounds which treat like a mix of X-Ray Spex, Penetration, Distillers, L7,and Juliette and The Licks, bringing them up to the side of the likes of The Bambi Killers and The Duel.
The release opens with the snappy beats and snarling bass of Renegade, its prowling predatory glancing speared by the feisty sonic gazes of guitarist Alex and antagonistic vocals of Twinkle. The song never explodes into an expected fury but switches the addictive teasing with fuller bruising crescendos leading to and around the chorus. The beats of Curlz are hypnotic as they frame and drive the song whilst bassist Ash probes and snaps at the ear with simple but rich basslines, it all combining for a tasty opening to the EP. We would be lying if we denied feeling a little short changed by the production, expecting and wanting the song to bitch slap the senses at some point but being as over demanding as ever, the song still delivers big time to our satisfaction.
Drag Me To Hell follows and sets itself up as one of the best moments on the release. It is a dirty little gem of a track with a knowing swagger and Ramones like innocence which grabs the ear from its first grooved second to its last middle finger fuelled note. It is probably one of those songs which will find a different reception with different people, its repetition and corrosive cymbal smashes not for everyone but with its infectious breath and effect teased vocals makes for a compelling and pleasing encounter.
Things drop to a slow stalking with Sleaze, its rock gait and well thought out layers of instrumentation quite irresistible. Like the other songs it shows off the imagination in the songwriting and individual skills nicely giving evidence that the band has more in their locker than just punk and uncomplicated rock n roll. The track nicely sets one up to a song which was the highlight of the last EP and receives a reworking this time around. Narcissism is an exceptional song, a track which ticks all the boxes and sends limbs and passions into full frenzy. It has to be said though that the new version does not match the original which is surprising and disappointing, though it still stands as an impressive and addictive joy. It is hard to say what is missing, but there is certainly a lack of the bite and intensity which came with the Sluttier Than Thou original.
The release is completed by the excellent Russian Roulette, a song which has a Siouxsie and the Banshees meets Hole feel about it. It shuffles up pace and intensity for a thrilling incursion upon the ear with expertise and with its smart hooks and skilled melodic enticements takes top honours of the release.
The Twinkle and The Sluts EP is a great piece of combat to stand toe to toe with, of course the band wins but it is great fun succumbing to their uncompromising mischief. Hopefully someone somewhere will let them loose in a full studio without trying to quell their instinctive punk independence and attitude, then watch out.
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