Twitch by James Kruman – Album Review
by Matt Callard
All these kids, sat in damp bedrooms fiddling with gadgets and battered instruments and Pro Tools, or whatever the hell it is they fiddle with these days – they’re the future, you know.
With this scratchy, flailing, wilfully abstruse release, there’s just enough promise to give you hope for the future. And therein lies a wonderful thing.
Frustrating? Because it doesn’t start until track three. Opener ‘Barrel Bomb’ is a noisy, fuzzy fragment which might work as an attention-grabber live, but on album it’s like a overlong preamble to a longed-for feast. Second track ‘Like a TV Ad’ adds a military stomp to a deliberately monotonous lyrical refrain (“When I die young/They will name a gun after me“), but it’s hardly aural ear candy.
Then there’s Kruman’s delivery – an odd, over-enunciated, sometimes charmless hybrid of Julian Cope, Syd Barrett and Vic Reeves, which might work on the snaky, insidious ‘Mahalo Mahayo’, but it ruins the otherwise gentle and pretty ‘Julia’ and comes across as sheer parody on the psych-folk referencing ‘Country Sigh’.
‘The Aviator’ adds neat harmonica and crunch chords to trad folk with startling effect and the multi-layered, synth-laden ‘Suicide Song’ is genuinely affecting.
Better than promising, then. The future’s bright here, at least.