Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dwight Twilley Band - Sincerely/Twilley Don't Mind (Shelter, 1976/Arista, 1977; Raven, 2007)

Even in tranquil Oklahoma swimming pools, shark attacks can happen with one quick ripple.

Longtime friends and collaborators, Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour dove head-first into the charts with the smokin' "I'm On Fire." Reaching #16 on Billboard in June 1975, the catchy choruses and clanging guitars made for a Badfinger/Hollies hybrid forever imprinted on receptive ears. For a shit-hot live take, watch the clip on YouTube. Striking while the iron was hot, DTB laid down the follow-up single at Leon Russell's studio in Tulsa. "Shark (In The Dark)" was another bite of British Invasion goodness. However, a higher-up at Shelter Records shelved the recording. In light of a smash release at the box office called Jaws, the executive didn't want his boys to become a two-hit novelty. Caging them did DTB no favors. Coupled with a delayed street date of the debut album, the band never again swam in commercial waters.

Thirty years on, Raven Records from the infested island of Australia dumps a generous 2-in-1 chum bucket into the mouths of pop aficionados the world over. "Looking For The Magic" is regarded by many as the centerpiece of DTB's catalog. Jittery vocals, echoes of studio trickery and a credible Macca-like performance by stand-in bassist Bill Pitcock IV do little to conflict with that opinion. The Seymour-sung "Could Be Love" suggests a collision of organ-based pop with the theme from "Sesame Street." Josh Rutledge from Now Wave Magazine (R.I.P.) once said that many Big Star songs reminded him of a warmed-over Atlanta Rhythm Section. Since I'm a fan of both acts, the "spooky" undercurrents of "Feeling In The Dark" don't bother me one bit. For a quick hit of Eddie Cochran-like rockabilly, turn on "TV." There's plenty of Cheap Trick swagger and attitude on "Here She Come." Look out for the girl rock 'n' rollin' in a wet T-shirt ("If she was just a little bit older/I'd be next to her"). Along with a horn section and the glam-but-not-really sophistication of Mott The Hoople, CT also figure prominently into "Rock 'N' Roll '47." "Chance To Get Away" escapes to jangly heaven and spins like a lost Flamin' Groovies side. When rest is in order, "Sleeping" wraps you in a string-laden, comfortable blanket that's perfect for an 8,000-year nap.

Watch for the great whites in three-piece suits. They're not just bluefish.
- Gunther 8544

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