Album Review of Twisted Tongue's Self-Titles record.
Some artists suit their record label down to the ground and this is certainly the case with Twisted Tongue and their self titled debut. Signed to the Acid Jazz label and displaying album artwork that has the look of an explosion in a 'play-doh' factory, you know you're not about to listen to the new Snow Patrol album. Quite the opposite in fact, Twisted Tongue are the brain child of Dave Jay and Mark Dalton, who in this case combine to create a large mix of funk, soul and electro grooves as well as some very strange production styles.
A Gnarls Barkley comparison is indeed an obvious one here but to be honest it's pretty spot on and you can't really blame Twisted Tongue for following that particular Funk/Soul blueprint due to its success, both commercially and musically. But Gnarls Barkley are not the only influence to be heard here, Prince must also be an inspiration as his notorious musical fingerprints can be found all over the spiky, sharp tone of 'Killing Angelina' - the vocals are uncanny.
Some much needed deep soul arrives in the form of the oddly titled 'Mindbeam Parts 1+2'. Vocals are distorted in the form of the Vocoder and are soon joined by those of a small child, despite this, 'Mindbeam' represents one of the albums more traditional soul tracks and stronger efforts.
Tempo is never more robust than on Got A Really Good Thing, with a relentless drum beat and sped up backing vocals it finds itself to be a track with numerous pop sensibilities and is the more enjoyable for it.
The problem with Twisted Tongue is that for large periods it seems to lack substance and there are too many tracks that just seem to drift along without leaving any impression at all. Like the funk electro blast of 'Feelin' Junie Medley' for example, at an incredible 6 minutes 31 it's astonishing that it never seems to pick up at all. The same can be said for 'Oh Father! My Own Nunk Band' which is an experiment too far and just comes across as wacky and unnecessary.
It's these weaker tracks which are littered across the album that stop Twisted Tongue from being a consistently enjoyable listen. The stronger tracks are few and far between and what you are left with is an album that ultimately sounds like a passing novelty.