Live Images of TWISTED WHEEL by Jonathan Taylor
The third album from Twisted Wheel represents the evolution of a band that have well and truly taken the shackles off and headed into an uncompromising wave of style matched with eclectic substance.
It’s a record that separates itself from the safe and obvious tirade of modern guitar pop, instead drawing upon a wide influence from 60’s Psychedelia, Punk, Trip Hop and New Wave.
Satisfying The Ritual follows the number one EP Jonny Guitar in cementing Wheel as one of the most vital groups of our times. Riding on the crest of a wave with three sold out UK tours, major festival appearances and support slots with Liam Gallagher, this album displays the band at their best and most inspired.
Singles penned by the evergreen frontman Jonny Brown: ‘Nomad Hat’ and ‘DNA’ have already proved strong live favourites amongst fans old and new; who have embraced the shift to a bigger and more expansive sound. Whilst other new tracks penned by bass player Harry Lavin including ‘Black and Blue’ have opened up new doors for the group creatively.
Available on 12-inch vinyl and CD, the album includes the singles: Nomad Hat, D.N.A and Black And Blue.
To establish a better insight into the making of the album, we get a track by track outlook by the band:
Harry: “The lyrics Jon has written for this strike a call for freedom against the digital hysteria which now dominates every corner of our lives. There is nothing purer than the simplicities of breathing in the fresh air, taking in the landscape and feeling alive with the world at your feet. It has a northern grit and sharp poetic aura that trickles throughout this stylish, widescreen, new wave sound which the band have worked very hard to craft in the studio”.
I Am Immune
Jonny: “‘I Am Immune’ stands for immunity from the bad mouths, trolls and negative comments endured in the music industry. Packing a punch this song keeps you updated with what the band are and have always been, a high energy heavily punk inspired group. Taking a no shit from nobody approach works well in a world where jealousy is rife, and people can try to bring you down masked in their own homes using the internet as a way of abusing artists in public without them being able to do much about it”.
Black and Blue
Harry: “As young people go through the biggest mental health crisis of modern times, it seemed fitting to reflect this through the medium of popular song. “I don’t believe in anyone and I barely trust myself” is a powerful and universal lyric which mirrors a lot of insecurity in a society in which so many of the people who are perceived to do good in the world, eventually turn out corrupt and deceitful. The added touches of slide guitar and distant backing vocals really give that sense of melancholy that we wanted to put across with this track”.
“DNA shows a side of Wheel which has never been seen before, and brings about the most beautiful and poignant moment on the new album. The story of lead singer Jonny Brown’s mother passing away from alcoholism brings forth a whole universe of ups and downs. After several years of battling his own demons, conquering and getting his life back on track Brown wrote the track as a tribute to his late mother. The song captures everything he could have hoped for with an abundance of love, passion and emotion that builds towards a thrilling crescendo of true rock ’n’ roll firepower”.
Harry: “This is what you get when you fuse the sound of ‘Johnny Kidd & The Pirates’ with ‘Pixies’ to tell the story of a mentally unhinged criminal mastermind. It’s often the tracks like this that was written and recorded in a very short space of time that produce the most compelling and fascinating results in the studio. If anything, this is a track that truly shows that the barriers of what was expected of Twisted Wheel have been well and truly knocked down”.
Wheels of Love
Jonny: “Meaning the band are firmly back on track and moving forward. With a misconceived perception of what people think a job in a working band trying to make it bigger consists of. The ‘Wheels Of Love’ lyric ‘Well you’re sleeping on floors, whilst living the dream’ states that although some people look up to certain bands in awe and strive to achieve what they have the reality is somewhat very different”.
Wrong Side of The Road
Harry: “To try and articulate the very basic life principle of “learn your lessons” through imagery such as the wicker man, poet and town crier is not conventional in any sense, but it does ring true in a backwards kind of way. ‘Wrong Side of The Road’ is a track that really came to life in the studio with sonically wide and open production, projecting that beautiful and anthemic sound that we seem to have captured brilliantly on this album”.
Jonny: “The year is 2020 and although we’re breaking down scientific boundaries and getting more knowledgeable on climate change and space travel by the second there’s still many feats to climb, but to achieve anything, we much persist to stay positive and look to a brighter future. With the blues still coursing through our veins as true rock ’n’ rollers ‘2020’ pimps up the blues as most great rock ’n’ roll does with elements of The Beatles, The La’s and Led Zeppelin this makes for a raucous energetic album track with a poem screamed out in a disorientated manner”.
Jonny: “We didn’t want to let this song go without the attention it deserved. So, we did a slight rework of the version that featured on the ‘Jonny Guitar EP’. The song arouses suspicion of a dubious past, epitomized especially by the lyrics: ‘with devils’ brass’ and ‘she’s my only friend’. It’s a story of loneliness, isolation and a seedy existence”.
Satisfying the Ritual
Jonny: “The title track on the album shows yet again another side of the band’s varied box of tricks. With a whirlwind of lyrics covering all subjects from destiny, psychology, fear, to missing planes and doomed adventures, the lyrics capitulate the need we all have to discover, experiment, explore, take risks, succeed, fail and therefore satisfy our own rituals. With a hedonistic chorus to accompany the rap/hip hop inspired delivery of the verses the music holds a constant groove throughout the song with an assortment of effects this track leaves the door wide open for more interesting experimentation in the future”.
Jonny: ‘Show me’ is a reminder to one’s self about the dark times endured by the band and myself but always optimistic that the light would someday be found and things would get better. It shows a true love for the beautiful things in life but not forgetting what it’s taken to actually be able to fully appreciate the goodness. Piano and nothing more than a classical guitar end the record with a kind of back to basics approach. Simplicity is key after all”.
All songs by Brown except 3 & 7 by Lavin
5 Lyrics Brown – Music Brown/Lavin
Available on iTunes, Spotify & all other streaming services
Available on CD and 12 inch Vinyl from https://twistedwheel.tmstor.es
Recorded and produced by Dean Glover at Vibe Studios, Manchester.
Mastered by Katie Tavini