REVIEW: Tweak Bird – Any Ol’ Way (Let’s Pretend Records)


Tracklisting: Weird Oasis / Greens / She Preach / A Sign Of Badness / Peace Walker / Builder / A Sign Of Positivity /  Mild Manor / Inspiration Point / Burn One / Sunshine


Writer’s block, it’s a fucking disease dear reader. A dilapidating, suffocating, crushing sickness fuelled by self-doubt and a crippling lack of intoxicants. So, I’ll let you into a secret. I like Tweak Bird’s Any Ol’ Way. I like it a lot, but fuck me I could not find the angle to tackle this review. Really shouldn’t have chosen this week to give up the booze.

To drag myself out of this funk I broke the first rule of writer’s club and scoured the internet for a spark, anything to kickstart the juices. Mercifully, inspiration was swiftly forthcoming. Google my saviour, my solace…thank you, thank you, thank you, for the very first click delivered like a steroid-pumped postman. A review of this very album so woefully transcribed, my fears subsided into a euphoric ether; nourished by a malicious laughter reserved only for the truly pitiful (go on, look it up…I dare you). Fire up Word fucktard, even random keyboard stabs will be an improvement….

Here we go…

No fancy metaphors, there’s beauty in simplicity….and boy, Tweak Bird’s Any Ol’ Way is simplicity incarnate. Blissed out vocals over stoner jams…righteous. 11 tracks so drenched in narcotic haze, mandatory urine tests are required on completion. You know the touchstones Melvins, Meat Puppets, Kyuss…colossal grooves built for the stratosphere.

Opener “Weird Oasis” transports you to Cali’s golden sands in less than two minutes as it offers up the seductive repetition of the word “sunshine” whilst pilfering from The Zombies “Time Of The Season.” Then BAM! The crunch of “Greens” kicks in. “Run, for your life” the brothers drawl, knowing full well they’re too baked to truly threaten, before descending into a maelstrom of noise. “She Preach” follows in much the same vein, fuzzy repetitive sludge and lazily driven drums laced with gloriously catchy psyched out vocals that tags a whirlwind of jazzy sax to proceedings.

“A Sign Of Badness” incredibly manages to slow the pace to a bluesy crawl. Sparse and linear it’s the least cluttered track here (and that’s saying something) and works as a perfect counterpoint to the 90s alt-rock radio friendly anthem “Peace Walker.” Catchy as fuck – play it loud. Filler “Builder” is one minute and 39 seconds of the song’s namesake builiding electronics that lead into “A Sign Of Positivity” where baritone guitar draws out a train like rhythm before ignoring a conventional chorus in favour of blasting a killer riff lifted from The Flaming Lips.

The epic “Mild Manor” (puns!) is the album’s centrepiece – a five minute psych-jam that throws in every idea in the Tweak Bird’s armoury. Grooves, synths, riffs, nonsensical lyrics about being invisible (and invincible), it’s the late night fridge raid where anything goes (you want mustard on your fruit salad, you got it dude). It doesn’t make sense, but boy does it feel good.

Any Ol’ Way draws to a close with “Inspiration Point” (acid Lennon goes grunge), before taking in the Meat Puppets lite of “Burn One;” one of those pop moments folks really shouldn’t leave this late on in a record. But, by this point in the evening, our new Cheech and Chong are beyond rational thought, so wasted they reprise track one and rename it “Sunshine.” No one’s in a fit state to argue though, just flip the needle back and start the journey again…


Rating 4 out of 5





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