Anyone who’s ever laid eyes on Dublin krautrock three-piece will not be surprised to hear that this debut LP is a strange proposition. Drummer Anto, axeman Rooster and organist Ray look like they were stolen from the set of Fraggle Rock one night. A highlight at this year’s DEAF festival, as well as a feature on the city circuit for a few years, Twinkranes’ live credentials are particularly strong. Not content with just turning up and plugging in, the group have a reputation for bewitching visuals that often transform their shows into deafening psychedelic sermons that jar the senses.
When Andy Votel’s Twisted Nerve label came a knocking, Twinkranes appeared to find an ideal new home, one where their peculiarities would be championed in a landscape dominated by indie and choruses. This new union saw them stun a crowd at the Primavera festival this year, as well as regular live collaborations with fan David Holmes. But if we strip away these background details and look at Spektrum Theatre Snakes as a product by an unknown band, its power and scope is not lessened one bit.
For starters, you won’t have heard a release like this all year, perhaps all decade. Nor will you able to think of any Irish band having grazed from such pummeling sonic pastures before. If you can imagine ’60s garage compilation Nuggets being played in a Berlin warehouse during Halloween, you’ll have some idea of what to expect. Technically, these are three very skilled musicians. Dark, direct and industrial, -Fizz Nor Feedback’ is a reminder that machines will never replace man, even in the arena of beats and electronica. -The Charmer”s heady, hypnotic bounce could be the soundtrack to a Derren Brown biopic. Lyrically, it’s all very Tim Burton, but the vocal, occurring low in the mix, is an added element of rhythm, a staccato mantra. Closing track -Spores’, sees skin-slapper Anto hissing -run, run, run, run rabbit, run’ and -betcha can’t feast with your fake nails now’.
Spektrum Theatre Snakes may divide opinion. Intense and uncompromising, its pop flavour is subdued but present. Before you find it, Twinkranes might have to unsettle and disorientate you a little. What you are rewarded with is a vivid sonic kaleidoscope, one that so much music rarely conjures up. Put simply, you’ll definitely remember where you were when you first heard this.