The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - An­thony O’Grady

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.

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