Bands like Twisted do not exist to be comfortable. Bands like Twisted do not exist to be confirmative. Bands like Twisted exist for a reason and to carry a message. An idea conceived in Leeds but brought to a point in Wales has molded a sound that brings together each era of punk, from the anarchic 70’s to the darker 80’s, and propelled them straight into the modern day. The times may have changed, but the music hasn’t. After a series of 7" releases and a couple of line up shuffles, the band have set up their full debut ‘Utopia’ for release, and it’s quite a lovely racket.
Recorded by the Coast in Porthcawl, South Wales, ‘Utopia’ is punk at it’s purest roots. Opening with the frenzied ‘Aureliano’ the album makes it’s intentions clear from the get go. This is an album filled with anger and instability, an album to take to the streets with and protest against an unjust system. Though they wear their passionate heart on their sleeve, the band also probe at issues closer to the soul, such as the awkwardness of love and what it’s like to be young and not where you are going. These are songs for the unhinged, awkward youth in all of us.
Musically, the band takes influence from a wide array of punk icons and never put together the same song twice across the albums rapid running time. The brilliantly titled ‘Esoteric Emptiness’ spasms with quick fire catchiness, while ‘Wholes And Halves’ twinkles lightly before exploding into a wall of noise. This feels like a credit to the different inceptions that the genre has taken since it’s baptism over 40 years ago and also how versatile rebellion can be. The album continues further down this path, with the piercing screech of ‘The Gulf’ flowing into the muttered backing vocals of ‘Toxic Convener’, before the floaty guitars on closer ‘Elixir’ makes for the album’s most melodically pleasing moment.
Overall ‘Utopia’ is punk at its most exposed. The flesh has been picked from the bones and what you see is the true rawness of the genre. Without a doubt it’s not going to be everybody cup of chai. It’s abrasive, scrappy, disjointed and challenging but also accessible and purposeful. Twisted are proving that the spirit of ‘86 is alive and well and putting it’s middle finger up to all that deny it. Up the punx indeed.
‘Utopia’ by Twisted is released on 19th January on Specialist Subject Records.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)