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coverpic flag Norway - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 18 - 04/12/98

Twigs
No More 24
Sun Spot Records

Things are happening on the Norwegian west-coast these days. Over the last year lots of bands from around Bergen have been fishing for fame and fortune abroad. Libido moved to London, England and got themselves a record deal with Fire Records. Peachfuzz also went to England, and was given a chance by the Fierce Panda label. As was Tiny Too too (well, they - the 2/3 of the band with Norwegian passports - are from Ålesund, quite some miles up the coast) who also wander the streets of London. Now it's time for Twigs to come out of the bushes, with their debut album, No More 24. Twigs, fronted by an English singer/bass player, Katy Penny. Guitarists Finn Solemdal and Per S. Lie, and drummer Morten Meland, make Twigs a foursome.

Actually Twigs made their debut in 1996, with Beast, a mini-album on their own label. They've now been signed to Sun Spot, a Swedish label, which makes the whole project even more international. Twigs present fuzzy, scraggy noise-pop of the British indie-pop type. Ms. Penny has written all the lyrics, while all the songs and arrangements are by Twigs. At first I was a bit sceptical. Yes, fuzzed aggro-pop is usually my cup of tea, but as Twigs ran off with The Island Song, and then went on with Filter and Lucky, I just wasn't convinced. They seem so eager to let out all their energy at once, and I think they now and then become a bit to hyper. Don't get me wrong here; I'm not criticising their playing skills, because Twigs is a very tight band, with skilled and talented musicians. Nevertheless, I sense some rashness in their music, and it doesn't suit them all the time.

So it wasn't until the end of song four I raised my eyebrows: Two Way Muzzle, with a near 3 minute long (or high) guitar-noise-postludium. Smashing! Postscript To Her Letter (the first single-cut to promote No More 24) and Orchard follows, and the latter is definitely my favourite track from this record. It's a graceful and luscious song, that makes your feet start tapping, for then to force the rest of your body into passionate dancing. Fruitful stuff! Four Phases is maybe the fastest and most intense track on No More 24, and it's really rough and charmy. Thankfully it is followed by the calm Dawn, so that you get to normalize your pulsebeat. Then comes another hi-lite, The Present, reminding me a bit of The Wedding Present, and quite something else compared to the arrangements and the dramaturgy in the rest of the songs on this album.

As a conclusion, I must admit to like just about half of this album. I guess Twigs must be a pretty cool live band, after doing plenty of gigs around Norway, and also touring London. Probably with a steam that makes you jump and sweat for hours, as they launch a sonic attack of distorted and fuzzed guitars, for then to calm down to a whisper just a split-second before the audience roll over exhausted. They've got a certain potential, but I'm just not sure if Twigs have shown what they're really good at yet.

Copyright © 1998 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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