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V-Twin - The Blues Is A Minefield (Domino)

Two years after their singles compilation "Free the twin", the Glaswegian quartet has finally released their debut album. It is a respectful nod to many bands of the past mixed with a healthy dose of experimentation.

Opening with a riff Pete Townsend would be proud of, 'Call a meeting' is basically early Aerosmith done very poorly. The fantastic guitars does very little to save this tune and the next nine tracks are suddenly looking very daunting. 'Deposit blues' sounds like a man coming down after a night of debauchery wrote it, but once again fails to create any real grasp on the listener. Thankfully, the proceedings improve with the fantastically evil 'Needle in the red'. This would very snugly fit on any recent Primal Scream album. It has a same discombobulated melody that makes it sound so deliciously fresh, yet has the undertones of dirty '60s Rolling Stones. Lovely.

The psychedelic warbling continues and just as they are getting a little too much for this tired hungover Sunday morning brain, they throw in a wonderful little pop number. 'Delinquency' is a song that is quite simply a delight to listen to and is an obvious candidate for a single.

Closing with 'Across the lanes', it appears to a take the best bits from the previous 9 tracks and mix them all together. This one song captures the essence and spirit of the whole album: Ideas. The band clearly has ideas pouring from every orifice of their sweaty rock'n'roll bodies. This is both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it seems that the ideas and concepts take over and the songs appear a little too arduous.

It's a bizarre, mixed up, confusing album. Even after 10 listens I was left feeling baffled by it all. It gave me a headache. Did I really enjoy it? I don't think so, but why do I keep putting it on? It must be because it is brilliant. Possibly.

Graham Smith

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