Mean Old Twister Deniz Tek Citadel Mean Old Twister has players, themes and atmospheres in common with Deniz Tek’s 2014 album, Detroit. The difference in sounds, though, is stark. Twister is as loaded with muscle as Detroit was lean and spare. Proceedings jump-start with Burned Black, staccato riffs underscoring a pursuit towards the abyss. Throughout the album Tek crafts images, stories and atmospheres into fully realised entities. In Cranbrook, a park’s seasonal changes parallel the bloom and freeze of a relationship, while Prison Mouse (inspired by Stephen King’s The Green Mile) relates the solace that an inquisitive rodent brings to death row inmates. It’s a long line from Tek’s 1970s output as Radio Birdman’s guitarist-songwriter, where impressionistic lyrics (often grabs from late-night television) combined with intense rifferama, exhorting vocals and bruising beats forged the antiestablishmentarianism basis of the band’s legend. Tek’s evolution throughout 30 or more albums subsequent to Birdman has been wideranging and constant, with Mean Old Twister its peak to date.
The players involved contribute mightily. Drummer Ric Parnell (Spinal Tap, Atomic Rooster) sets the foundations of the songs with precision and verve. On the instrumental Comanche, keyboard player Ron Sanchez spectacularly reimagines and re-orbits the beguiling clavioline wizardry of the Tornados’ 1962 hit, Telstar.