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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Twisted Whistle

Through The Mill

Review by Larry Toering

This is another northwest band on my radar that I find deserving of mass exposure. It's all very well done in the effort to come across as authentic as possible for the blend of styles going on here. That blend of styles includes such things as bluegrass and country tinged rock, with plenty of folk laced through it as well. Categories like “psychobilly” really don't begin to sum this band up, but they do have some of that attitude to go with it. This is more along the lines of a true jug laden outfit, without the jugs and washboards. All of the songwriting is well worth noting as it equally matches the great playing to be found here. It mostly features a fine vocal performance, wrapped around killer cello and banjo playing, all backed by great songwriting for an all in all very accessible release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Willy Get Your Gun

This is instantly one likeable track and then some. Every second of it is killer. The banjo being a featured instrument is no joke here, as it comes on so strong and effectively there is almost no way not to notice. This track moves swiftly by like a freight train. I love it!

Fly Away World
This is a little slower but is equally as interesting and enjoyable in every way. Here the banjo licks are full of subtle and delightful flurries. There is indeed some amazing work going on here with great lyrics to back it all. One can easily tell this is going to be a great disc at this point.
Backstage With Karly Jane
This finds the band in a different structural light than the two previous tracks, but it's equally welcomed in its contrast. With more of a storytelling approach it tends to lean on harder core folk stylings. It’s classic stuff considering the modern vibes to be found on this killer disc, and definitely a sweeter songwriting approach. This is absolutely lovely!
Almost Drowned
As if that wasn't an interesting enough turn, this brings back more string flurries over a soft acoustic number. This is once again awesome, as the lyrics and vocal performance come alive here. The pace is held down from the last two tracks in the process of getting across a most appealing tune.
Lost Coast Highway
More fine picking dominates yet another slice of heaven in the shape of this very bluegrass oriented song. That is the general flavor to be found all over the disc, but sometimes it's less evident than it is on this particular track.
Dew On The Vine
This follows a bit more of a pop feel, but it's yet another fine fit in the set, albeit rather more stripped back with a great addition of harp. I can also see this being described as a honky tonk blues number. It’s another excellently delivered track.
Kind of Town
At just the right point on the disc, things get most enjoyable on this perfect blend of the styles to be found from this great band. It's just so easy to tap your toes and rock back and forth to this feathery tune. This is just an easy thing to get caught up in as it moves along with some of the most satisfying feature qualities on display. By now the singing performance cannot be denied.
Tallulah May
One of the most country picking tracks on the disc, this is where it all gets dirty and clean at the same time. Another lovely tune this is indeed. I love the strings on this track more than anywhere else. What a brilliant straight forward track this is.
Shapes
This describes circles and squares, rectangles and triangles, as repeated in the first set of lyrics. It just doesn't let up concerning the quality of material to be found here, as this is simply yet another killer example. I would take this camping anytime.
Through The Mill
This closer serves as a perfect way to get this band across with one of the more all out vocal pieces on offer. Everything seems to be evenly weighed by the time this title track is over.
 
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