Iconic Mancunian rockers Twisted Wheel return with their first album in 8 years, ‘Satisfying the Ritual’. Branching out from their traditional indie rock format, this album sees the band embrace a wide variety of influence within their songs. Producing perhaps their strongest album to date.
Opening the album is lead single, ‘Nomad Hat’. A noisy, punk-tinged track, it thrusts the listener into the record with all the rock ‘n’ roll bravado that’s become expected of the group. The distorted vocals and the tracks shrill guitar solo fuel the overall aggression of the track and opens the album in stellar fashion. Following on from this is track, ‘I Am Immune’. This continues the punkier sound of the album and takes the sound into a power chord paradise. Clear influence from genres such as shoegaze and traditional indie rock worm their way into the track, this being most notable within the tracks climax.
As the album progresses, the sound becomes more expansive. This is notable within, ‘DNA’ as the track takes somewhat of a slower-paced approach, with an overall grandiose sound. This is created through the softer guitar sounds that still maintain that classic Twisted Wheel crunch. The track is somewhat let down by the nursery-esque rhyming of the lyrics. Seemingly plucking any words that happen to rhyme, the track is carried almost solely by its exceptional melody.
The album also brings attention to the trials and tribulations suffered by the band since the release of 2012’s, ‘Do It Again’, most notably frontman Jonny Brown. This is clear within the track, ‘Wheels of Love’. Combining indie with certain rockabilly sounds, the track is melodically the long-awaited crossover between mods and rockers. ‘Wheels of Love’ has been described by Brown as; ‘Meaning the band are firmly back on track and moving forward… people look up to certain bands in awe and strive to achieve what they have the reality is somewhat very different.’
Closing out the album is, ‘Show Me’ and with this the album reaches its emotional crescendo. An emotive blend of a tender melody and heartfelt vocals, it juxtaposes with the self-assured rock ‘n’ roll that permeates the rest of the album. It’s a beautiful closer to the album.
‘Satisfying the Ritual’ is a wonderful slice of classic rock and roll. Self-confident and arrogant in the best way, it channels the rockstar sensibilities of old which are lacking in today’s musical climate. With a collection of full force tunes such as these one thing is for certain, the wheel turns again.