Kill The Funk - Evil Twin (Twinsie Records)
Another day, another blues duo. Or so it seems. The economics of travelling light are obvious for a band playing ballsy blues-rock in these lean times, so it’s a relief when they actually sound good.
If that sounds jaded it’s because an oddly named album from yet another White Stripes/Black Keys duo lands in the mail box every week. Not all of them get reviewed. “Kill The Funk” is a goodie. No doubt. Eleven songs of hard-driven guitar and emphatic drums that jumps out of the speakers and dares you not to pay attention.
Evil Twin is Jared Mattern (guitar/vocals) and Chris Beechey (drums) and have been plying their trade around the pubs of Melbourne for a couple of years. They places like The Great Britain and Yah-Yahs and sound like they’d be best experienced in a similarly small space, up so close that the kick drum sends your jeans leg flapping. They’d probably die of indifference in Sydney but that’s a reflection of the town’s attitude to any music that’s vaguely interesting or rocking. Boxes for which Evil Twin tick successfully.
This is an album with its share of saturated, over-driven guitars - plus some other record’s share. It’s been committed to tape/hard drive in a nice, live sounding room and has that elusive feeling of immediacy. Full marks to engineer Tim Smyth who assisted the band produce themselves. The acrid feedback that announces “Rollin’” is totally in character.
Do Evil Twin in fact “kill the funk”? Look, this is blues rock, played straight and hard weigh few diversions into other territory (“Country” being the exception.) At the end of the album, funk is still conscious but the referee is applying a standing count.
If there’s a criticism it’s that a couple of songs in the middle drag their heels. They’re padding against the hard(er) gristle of “Sticky Fingers” or the stomping “Get a Rope”. There’s not much shade in comparison to the (very bnight) light, and the most subtle thing about “Devil In Her Eye” is the overdubbed handclaps. If that sounds like your bag, follow the links below.