Most musicians would have totally given up on ever making it long ago if they’d been through the ringer in the same way as Jonny Brown, and yet here he is with Twisted Wheel again, against all the odds, making albums and touring with Liam Gallagher. It’s nothing short of a miracle.
‘Satisfying The Ritual’ is the Greater Manchester band’s third studio album, released nearly eight years since their last record, but the its sheer quality gives the impression that Twisted Wheel never went away.
Combining bonafide stadium crowd-pleasers with thoughtful reflections on Brown’s tumultuous past, the standard of music on this album is levels above what anyone could have expected, and is without doubt the best material the band have produced thus far.
Twisted Wheel have been cast as a sort of spit-and-sawdust indie rock’n’roll band, but ‘Satisfying The Ritual’ is so much more than that. The production quality is top class throughout, and there’s plenty of innovative ideas to go alongside their simpler, punchier tracks like ‘I Am Immune’.
The mysterious, noir vibe of ‘Ghost Man’ stands out in particular as a bit of real inventiveness, as does the warped psychedelia of the title track, proving beyond any doubt that Twisted Wheel are far from one of indie’s one-trick ponies.
Brown’s lyrics are naturally at their best when referencing experiences and emotions close to his heart, making you hang off every word. ‘‘Wrong Side Of The Road’ and Black and Blue penned by bassist Harry Lavin are definitely worth singling out for a lot of praise in this sense.
DNA is so close to the heart as it describes the tragedy of Browns mums passing after staying with her In hospital in Spain then one day tired, he went home for a rest and she left us.
If any album release deserves the widespread support of the music community this year, it is this incredible comeback album. ‘Satisfying The Ritual’ is not only outstanding due to the place Twisted Wheel have returned from, but it has a genuine chance of being in the conversation as one of the indie albums of the year, even at this early stage. Bravo.