Thursday, 28 July 2011

Random Review #89 22-20s - Self Tilted

C6S5CD5 In the light of the success of The White Stripes, stripped down blues influenced rock became all the rage. The Black Keys are possibly the most successful of the bands that evolved but others worth mentioning are, The Walkmen, Band of Skulls and the band I am writing about now 22-20s.

If you really want to understand where this type of music originates from you need to go back to the likes of T-Model Ford, R.L. Burnside, Cedell Davis, Robert Cage and the anybody signed to the Fat Possum Record Label. These guys all learnt their trade playing very basic blues in the Juke Joints of the Deep South, usually on their own for hours with only with an electric guitar banging out dirty blues for people to dance to. If you have ever seen the film It Might Get Loud, you’ll understand how these guys influenced Jack White who in turn made it acceptable to form a band without a bass player if you didn’t want one, showing with passion and an ear for a tune you could still be successful.

22-20s were quick out the blocks this album was released in 2004 and followed the blueprint written by The White Stripes. Dirty guitar playing, hook laden tunes, and the odd quiet number to break up the noise. This album opens with the albums strongest track and here lies the problem. Devil In Me is great and was quickly picked by a beer company Carling maybe? The advert was a giant street football match, skins versus shirts with people joining in as the ball got kicked from street to street. The music mirrored the frenetic nature of the advert and gave 22-20s a quick leg up into the mainstream. As much as the album continues with this vein nothing matches the quality of Devil In Me and quickly you find yourself wishing that the first track would come back on.

It looks like 22-20s released another album last year but the fact that I didn’t notice its release says a lot. They were supporting Band of Skulls last year which kind of tells you where they are at the moment as Band Of Skulls only released their debut album last year.

22-20s had a moment and that moment was a few years ago and I suspect they will fade away quietly. The Black Keys, Band Of Skulls and The Walkmen have all evolved this style and sound fresh because of it, and therefore always come to mind before 22-20s when I’m looking for this type of music.

Download Devil In Me and forget about the rest.


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