If you know TwinsTown at all, you’ll know they are nothing if not keen.
Not that I can talk. I was nicknamed Mister Mustard by my trade union comrades. My old boss called me the “make it happen man,” and my IT colleagues gave me a leaving card showing a rottweiler chewing a bone above the words; JOE ‘BITES-YER-LEGS’ GRAHAM. I understood this to be a reference to both my football and my work. Apparently I was like a dug with a bone until the project was done.
It’s nice to see the band doing the same. The hard work goes on on debut album Brankholm Brae, as scheduled by manager Big Daddy aka Billy George, and in spare time work has begun on the difficult second album. You know pop mythology, the rock ‘n’ roll cliche; an up-and-coming band work for years on an explosive first album but stumble trying to follow-up on their initial success within a year or risk losing their currency. Even taking time can end in disaster. It’s known as Difficult Second Album Syndrome (DSAS).
The Stone Roses, The Second Coming (Geffen, 1994)
This is the pinnacle of DSAS. It even inspires an argument in Shaun of the Dead when Simon Pegg resists frisbeeing the vinyl to stop advancing zombies but Nick Frost wants it frisbee’d. Heavy nods towards Led Zeppelin couldn’t find critical favour and the Mancunians split up before they could record another note. On the upside, it gave us Ten Storey Love Song, an absolute triumph reminiscent of the Madchester sound on the band’s debut, featuring typically jangly guitars and warm harmonies. Riff-heavy and intense Love Spreads is another highlight.
Elastica, The Menace (Deceptive, 2000)
The eponymous debut sits proudly in my record collection. This does not. Like The Second Coming it was five years in the making and still failed to inspire. On the bright side, it didn’t compare itself to Jesus.
Terence Trent D’Arby, Neither Fish Nor Flesh (Columbia, 1989)
My pal Murray had a copy of D’Arby’s debut The Hardline According To…, and I used to play it. Murray moved into my house when his three house-mates eliminated him from the equation by deliberately moving from a 4 to a 3-bedroom rental. His housemates were risible, pretentious and all too self-important. Exactly like D’Arby’s second album. We frisbee’d it into a boby-building neighbour’s garden.
Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I & II (Geffen, 1991)
Not one but two successors to Appetite for Destruction, weighing in at an overblown two and a half hours. Enough said.
The Clash, Give ‘Em Enough Rope (Columbia, 1978)
I actually really like this, but the reviews were mixed, therefore it makes my list. Only at No.5 though as it’s pretty good by most standards, just a wee bit disappointing by comparison with the eponymous debut and the magnificent London’s Calling, The Clash’s third and best album by some distance. Highlights include: Safe European Home, English Civil War, Tommy Gunn and Stay Free.
Back to TwinsTown
Actually, I don’t want to call it the difficult second album. I’ll need to give it a working title.
Flare It is the obvious choice as it narrowly missed out to Brankholm Brae to be the name of TwinsTown’s debut album.
Therefore, work on Flare It has begun. All socially distanced of course. We’ve gone hi-tech with video conferencing, online multi-user project sharing and the best audio quality available.
War with Myself
The first song completed for Flare It is War with Myself; a man lies in turmoil, his heid is bursting, his thoughts running amok, there’s only two hours before he needs to get up for work, yet he can’t get back to sleep. We’ve all been there. Have you gone to war with yourself about it? I think you probably have. It’s really annoying. I know I have.
Our sleep-deprived hero Hornet aka Donald Mackay chooses full contact martial arts for combat with his psyche. His very soul is at stake. His inner demons must be defeated.
Mixed Martial Arts
He remembers the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the most influential martial art in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, used by Royce Gracie to define mixed martial arts as a sport. Donald is now onto something…
Meanwhile, twin telepathy has Smackay aka Stuart Mackay sitting up in bed. He’s threatening kamikaze to save his bro.
The Wasp aka Wayne Robertson can’t help he’s stuck in an English asylum, Broadmoor. He probably couldn’t sleep either.
“One up, all up!” shout the twins. The Duke aka Harry Dixon and The Darkness aka Mark Guyan are rudely awakened, dragged from their pits, and bundled into The Mystery Machine aka big Barrett’s camper van. They’re breaking Wayne out tonight.
TwinsTown v Nazis
The action rages from Tappie Toories to Bratislava where there’s Nazis to chase with Lady Gaga doing the krav maga (it’s so tempting to sing magaga at that point) arguably the most efficient and deadly martial art. It was developed in late-1930’s to fight Slovakia’s Nazis and is famously used by the Israeli Defence Force as well as Willie Doig when manager at The Old Inn.
Bruce Lee is on viagra (I didn’t see that coming). I won’t dare tell you what Jackie Chan gets up to. This is no Shanghai Knights. Thank goodness.
Not so difficult…
War with Myself is the full TwinsTown monty. For me it’s up there with The Wrath of the Rum, the Wingnuts classic making a well deserved return to appear on Brankholm Brae. It’s maybe even as good as Spitfire, my favourite, most rockinest track on Brankholm Brae. It’s a great start to Flare It (working title) the maybe not so difficult second album.