THE QUIREBOYS – Twisted Love +2 (2016)
Tomorrow September 2, it’s the day for THE QUIREBOYS album number 10 “Twisted Love“, to hit the stores. Again they chose to record this in the Swedish town of Klippan, where they recorded the previous CD and again it has been produced by Martin Ekelund (Bonafide) and The Quireboys.
While the only remaining original member is frontman Spike (Jonathan Gray) with guitarist Guy Griffin, there is a massive “special thing” hiding amongst the new album / songs. It’s called focus and chemistry.
Boasting a line-up which has been in place since 2013, there’s no denying that it’s benefiting them massively, you can see it in their live shows too. It’s strengthening them and allowing them to turn in some of their best songs of their career.
Songs like “Stroll On” and “Shotgun Way” sound like they could have come from their early ’90s efforts. Meanwhile, tracks such as “Ghost Train” and “Breaking Rocks” sound much more akin to the more modern sensibilities of recent albums. But it still has that Quireboys sound rooted deep within its DNA. The tried and tested blueprint which has never failed for the band.
The dual guitars of Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin complete with their backing vocals tie in neatly with Keith Weir’s keyboard melodies, really outdoing himself this time around. Title track “Twisted Love” also features blues powerhouse Lynne Jackaman on backing vocals, trading barbs with Spike, the sultriness lingering in the background yet notably obvious.
“Killing Time” is reminiscent of Aerosmith’s Eat The Rich, but without the rapping and much more earthy, then there’s “Gracie B”, originally from the previous, acoustic-driven album St Cecilia and the Gypsy Soul. It was given a full electric outing on their tour this year and it sounded massive.
Re-worked based on that and included here, the standout of its original album, it’s been transformed into a new beast, even more dangerous than its original form.
Frontman Spike’s voice has noticeably weathered with age but it’s only gotten better in that time, his inimitable rasp has him attack his vocals with the energy of a vocalist half his age and better into the bargain.
Meanwhile the engine room of Dave McCluskey on drums coupled with Nick Mailing’s bass has helped propel the band to a new level of quality, the years of playing and recording together is obvious, something you can only get with a regular line-up. There’s a deft hand involved for the pair of them, Dave’s drums especially featuring more prominently this time around due to the harder edge Spike had promised this time around.
As before, the band have produced the album with Martin Ekelund of Bonafide and once again, he’s managed to get the best out of them.
Promising “no ballads” this time around seemed like a weird prospect for a band like The Quireboys, especially when some of their best songs fall into that category but at no point do you wish they’d drop a gear and include a sequel to I Don’t Love You Anymore.
Their raucous singalong anthems are at the forefront in “Twisted Love” and it’s easy to pick out which will be the live favorites
There’s not a band more deserving of their renaissance than The Quireboys. Constantly putting out brilliant albums, relentless touring and a band you can never accuse of turning in a bad performance, you’ll be hard-pushed to find a band to beat their consistency.
01 – Torn & Frayed
02 – Ghost Train
03 – Killing Time
04 – Twisted Love [Album Version]
05 – Breaking Rocks
06 – Gracie B (Part II)
07 – Life’s a Bitch
08 – Stroll On
09 – Shotgun Way
10 – Midnight Collective
11 – Win Some, Lose Some (bonus track)
12 – Twisted Love [Full Length Version] (bonus track)
Spike – vocals
Paul Guerin, Guy Griffin – guitars
Keith Weir – keyboards
Nick Mailing – bass
Dave McCluskey – drums
Lynne Jackaman – guest vocals