on 24 November 2011
The anticipation that goes with any bands second album can often over shadow the final product. This is especially so when a bands first outing is to the standards of the 22-20's self titled debut from 2004. While a second album can so often be dampened by heightened expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by Shake/Shiver/Moan (undoubtedly a play on Big Joe Turners 1954 hit, Shake, Rattle and Roll) the 22-20's new album.
A suitable opener in `heart on a string' builds throughout to climax in a catchy chorus that will set the tone for the album, only to be followed by the gloomy yet strangely satisfying `Bitter Pills' on which Trimble sings "everybody's going somewhere, my life's going no where" perhaps giving a little insight into his life following the bands break up in 2006? `Talk to me' is a return to the up tempo style often found on their debut, with a relentless beat that holds up throughout.
The forth track on the album `Ocean' is reminiscent of the Stone Roses with harmonising vocals and a soft but addictive guitar riff.
The First single from the album `Latest Heartbreak' is probably the biggest anthem to be found here, the conviction and confidence on the vocal track is something that could raise envy from any young singer around at the moment. "Back in the darkroom, he's waiting for you" Trimble wails before launching into the chorus, this undoubtedly will become a live favourite. The title track, `Shake/Shiver/Moan' happens to be the longest track on the record at just slightly over five minutes, this finds the band entering new territory starting off relatively slow with just a single guitar and finishing with a semi-drum solo that surprisingly doesn't feel out of place (definitely a testament to James Irving's abilities) before winding down in a satisfyingly slow end which seems to almost reflect on the journey that you have just been brought on. `4th Floor' while being a straight forward indie rock song, is layered in sentimental vocals "You should know by now, the pleasure isn't worth the pain" and "Walk Away" being a reoccurring line, no doubt referring to more of Trimble's personal issues while at the same time still being one of the most cheerful and enjoyable songs on the album.
The album takes a slightly lighter tone from `96 to 4' which could almost be passed for something from the latest Arctic Monkeys album, while `Let it go' is the most forgettable track found here, the opening line "There's nothing to say" sums it up perfectly.
`Morning Train' closes the album beautifully, with its slow acoustic guitar, softly guiding us towards the end, "There's so much I'd like to say, but it's too late now we're running out of time, between the doorway and the morning train".
Let's all just hope they don't leave it this long again before their next outing.
on 15 December 2010
Best album of the year? A bold claim, but 22-20s sophomore album may just be a contender. There are still the blues tinged influences of the first album ('Bitter Pills', 'When The Morning Breaks', 'Latest Heartbreak'), but there's also something else - not a departure, but a progression into new territory. 'Heart On A String' and 'Shake Shiver Moan' to name but two. Hard to pick a stand out track, each one different and good with it. Maybe too good. A no brainer for fans of the first album, but it could do great things with a bit more exposure.
on 10 October 2010
I LOVE the 22-20s first album. Devil In Me, Shoot Your Gun, Baby Brings Bad News - the whole album is superb, exciting and energetic. I even bought the singles because their b-sides were good too.
Unfortunately this second album isnt up to the high standards of their first and is ordinary at best. With a change in style they are no longer the edgy blues influenced rock n roll band they once were and are now more of a bland jangly indie band. But its not just the change in style that is disappointing; the quality of the writing isnt as good as the first album either and there isnt a stand out track on the album. It all feels a bit rushed, unfinished or dis-jointed.
It's all a shame as Martin Trimble has a superb voice and is a top notch guitarist. According to the credits, he wrote all the songs on the first album whereas this time around all songs are written by the band - maybe Trimble should write the 3rd.
Maybe i'm being harsh, but i was really expecting more from them and im not a fan of this album. Hopefully one day they'll go back to the high standards that made them what they were.
If you're thinking of buying this then listen to it first (and dont buy it on blind faith as i did)