By Stephanie Grimshaw
I’ll confess, having not heard of this band before I’d asked a few friends if they’d heard of them, to which I was surprised to find they’ve actually released 2 albums to date and have been the Guardian’s ‘Band of the Day’ back in April. ‘You’ll like them Steph, they sound like Black Mountain & QOTSA’. There are only two of them, they are brothers from Illinois and they look like brothers in the same way that Sparks do. As in, not really at all.
There’s a strangely mixed crowd tonight, old’uns and young’uns, all rushed to the front, which I don’t recall having seen in here before. It becomes apparent why really, as their set starts we quickly realise it’s perhaps better to be stood right in the middle at the front, than at the sides near the speakers… They start out with an almost sci-fi element to their opening song due to motorhead meanderings and interference with the Theremin. Couple this with rapturous, pounding drums and knock-out guitar licks, and they’ve basically whipped us up into a frenzy.
Storming through their set the next track has a bouncy feel to it, with roly poly riffs and machine-gun accurate drumming, it’s hard not to compare them to the likes of ‘At the Drive In’ and ‘Battles’ (but with less mirrors and band members) combined.
It’s hard to tell who’s working the hardest here, there is a multitude of things going on between the two of them as I notice, there is what appears to be a great bite mark missing from a very high cymbal on the drum kit. The drummer is playing as well as singing backing vocals providing a resonant contrast to his brothers lead vocals, which are a little bit ‘screaminglittlebitch’ like, and draws the only fair comparison to Jack White of White Stripes fame.
They’ve already an intriguing sound, before introducing guest sax on a couple of tracks giving it some additional dysfunction Beefheart style, as they play their way through to the final track. Hypnotic and rhythmic, sharp and as dangerous as helicopter blades, they could land just about anywhere and deploy a sonic assault on y’all and you will enjoy it. The name Tweak Bird evokes images of scrawny sparrow type birds, which the singer clearly is but instead of tweeting, they roar. Looking forward to them landing on our shores again soon.