Review of Tweak Bird Album by Tweak Bird

This album makes me wish I was about sixteen again. Not for any great ideological or philosophical reason, it's just that when I was sixteen years old I was a right little tearaway and wasn't exactly a stranger to the delights of what is carefully known nowadays as the 'jazz cigarette'. Sixteen year old me would have loved to whack this album on loud after an evening on the Devil's puff, and I think that's part of what 23 year old me likes so much about it.

Tweak Bird Tweak Bird Album

Of course, the fact that in places this could be a Black Sabbath album circa 1970 probably doesn't hurt at all, Although quite often just as you think you've got a handle on what's going on, there's a saxophone part, or some lush jazz harmonies floating over the top of a metal riff. Brothers Caleb and Ashton have succeeded in creating a sonically rich and audibly thick slab of gold on this album, and it's astonishing just how many influences you can hear on the record. Primus' 'Brown Album' is invoked just as quickly as Black Sabbath and every other band in the 70s that pioneered that psychedelic sound so often aped nowadays, but rarely done as well as Tweak Bird have managed.

Of course, the album can occasionally suffer from the same problem that many stoner/psychedelic albums do: At times, it can be hard to tell the difference between the tracks, such are the grooves and keys they tend to follow. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that there isn't a single 'standout' track - but that's not to say the entire album isn't great, if a little short. The whole thing clocks in at under 40 minutes, and I find that it feels like it's finishing before it started. Now, I know that you should always leave them wanting more, and I do admire the band for essentially arriving, stomping your brain into mud and then simply walking away, but depending on the price point, ten tracks (Of which a couple are filler "intermissions") could seem like somewhat of a rip-off.

With those two minor gripes out of the way, allow me to reiterate something: I bloody love this album, and so should you. It's just poppy enough to sing along to, just metal enough to headbang to, and just jazzy enough to confound all your expectations without even trying.

Chris Spann

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