The Quireboys Twisted Love Album Review
The Quireboys release their 10th studio album Twisted Love on September 2, and having had the opportunity to listen to it a few times over the last week or so, it’s safe to say that this record marks a return to what the band do best. As Spike would say, THIS IS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!
Now, I have to admit that as good as their 2015 acoustic album St. Cecilia and the Gypsy Soul was, it really got me wishing we could somehow fast forward to the next full-on rocker of a Quireboys record. They seemed to be in such a rich vein of songwriting form that – to my mind at least – it’d be a pity if the band didn’t crack on and strike while the iron was hot. As it turned out, that’s pretty much what they did, since earlier in the year they headed back to the Swedish town of Klippan, locked themselves in a studio and didn’t come out until Twisted Love was done and dusted.
The result? A 10-track, no-nonsense, ballad-free, blues-rockin’ belter of a record. Take opening track Torn & Frayed for example. Not only does it set the tone for the whole album, it’s also the first of a few tracks which seem destined to become fixtures of their live sets. Spike’s distinctive vocals are as good as ever, while Dave McCluskey’s train beat drumming, properly bluesy harmonica and typically brilliant guitar work from Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin build a relentless groove which really grabs you.
Ghost Train sees the blues cranked up a notch or two with Keith Weir a standout on keys laying down some seriously good Hammond licks. The intensity builds again with Killing Time before things take a slightly darker turn with the atmospheric title track. Even though you’re only four tracks into the album at this point, it’s clear that it’s shaping up to be pretty special.
If you read our review of the band’s show in Glasgow a few months back, you’ll know that one of the standout songs that night was an awesome electric guitar version of Gracie B from St Cecilia and the Gypsy Soul. As we said in the review, although the original acoustic recording was brilliant, when it was played by the full band with electric guitars it sounded so much bigger, badder and to our mind, better than the original. So hats off to Spike and the guys for taking the song back to the studio, re-recording it as per those live performances and including it here.
The second half of the album continues like the first as a filler-track-free-zone, but the highlight for me has got to be the raucous Life’s A Bitch. This is The Quireboys at their barnstorming, good time rock ‘n’ roll best. Surely destined to become a favourite with live audiences on their forthcoming tour and beyond.
If ever an album was able to demonstrate beyond any doubt that the band who recorded it were in a really good place, it would be this one. This is not only one of the best Quireboys albums of the last ten years, but unquestionably one of their best. Period.
Go buy it.
1 Torn & Frayed
2 Ghost Train
3 Killing Time
4 Twisted Love (Radio Edit)
5 Breaking Rocks
6 Gracie B (Part 2)
7 Life’s A Bitch
8 Stroll On
9 Shotgun Way
10 Midnight Collective
You can pre-order your copy of Twisted Love HERE
2016 Tour Dates
Thu 15 Sept Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms
Fri 16 Sept Swansea, The Scene
Sat 17 Sept Stockton on Tees, KU
Sun 18 Sept Paisley, The Bungalow
Wed 7 Dec Zephyr Lounge, Leamington
Thu 8 Dec Live Rooms, Chester
Fri 9 Dec The Station, Cannock,
Sat 10 Dec Corporation, Sheffield
Sun 11 Dec Borderline, London
Tue 13 Dec The Musician, Leicester
Wed 14 Dec The Tolbooth, Stirling
Thu 15 Dec Bannermans, Edinburgh
Fri 16 Dec Think Tank, Newcastle
Sat 17 Dec Rushden Athletic Club, Rushden