The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
The Quireboys Twisted Love Review


Release Date: September 2nd 2016

The Quire Boys

As an original fan who saw the band many a time prior to that first album way back when (and still has those independent singles) and also as a latter day fan mightily impressed with the last few releases The Quireboys were always one of those bands I'd insist on telling people about and any new release was eagerly anticipated.

BOOKS & DVD'S 2009-2014

Something seems to have happened though. 'Torn and Frayed' is a decent enough opener with plenty of vim and vinegar, yet somehow not completely satisfying as it reaches too hard to be truly memorable. 'Ghost Train' by comparison just seems like a ball of bluesy clich├ęs thrown against the wall, and while 'Killing Time' ups the ante with the backing vocals really kicking in it's again pretty derivative.

The problem I guess The Quireboys have always had is that they have never been what you might term 'original' with a well-worn formula based on the swagger of The Faces and a smatter of The Stones, they got away with it as they did it so damned well. Here, although the musicianship is impeccable as always and Spike's wail as faithfully ragged as ever the ideas seem to have stopped. In short this has the smell of an album that has been at least partially 'phoned-in'.

Elsewhere it's a similar story with the slow blues burn of 'Breaking Rocks' not quite hitting the mark despite trying hard. 'Gracie B (Part II)' fares a little better, built in a similar mould it's another mid-tempo, bluesier number with swelling organ and groove but just that little bit short of what you'd expect or hope for as a take on the far more compelling original from the 'St Cecilia...' album from 2015. Why it's sat here mid album and not just a bonus track I'm not sure.

Probably my favourite is the far more spirited barroom boogie of 'Life's a Bitch' which gets back to the party and lets the fun in through the front door. It might be throwaway to an extent sure, but it's done well and gets that foot tapping, though seven tracks in you wonder if it's hit a little late.

'Stroll On' just feels like late-era Stones and just passes you by, not quite cool or funky enough but a nice stab, 'Shotgun Way' is similarly unmemorable, though faster. That leaves us with 'Midnight Collective' another late-era Stones slab that does at least up-the-ante a little with its gentle groove and excellent keys, in fact after repeated listens this sounds like the hidden gem. Bonus track 'Win Some Lose Some' is a nice rocker to close.

Overall after a couple of excellent recent releases in recent years there's something about this release that suggests The Quireboys may have run out of a little steam. The single 'Twisted Love' thankfully is full of charm and has a nice hook but the rest of the album has you feeling that few of these songs will find a place in the live set after the tour is done.

Torn & Frayed
Ghost Train
Killing Time
Twisted Love
Breaking Rocks
Gracie B (Part II)
Life's a Bitch
Stroll On
Shotgun Way
Midnight Collective

Review by Mark Rockpit