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The Twang

Wide Awake ()

By • Feb 1st, 2006 • Category: long players

There�s something about singer Phil Etheridge�s voice that�s a strange hybrid between Ian Brown and, oddly, Preston of Ordinary Boys/CBB �fame�. As for �Wide Awake�, listening is like stepping into a Tardis and emerging in the 90s Britpop era. It comes across as an almost deliberately cooked Stone Roses/Oasis/Happy Mondays stew that flies in the face of ingenuity.

As a song, �Wide Awake� is good. Not great. It lacks the charisma that true Britpop should, by definition, promise to us and in fact it promises nothing; that would be far too spontaneous, even passionate a thing to do. And despite whatever morning TV or myspace might try and tell you, compared to sliced bread, The Twang just don�t cut it (no pun intended). Then there�s the lyricism which, I�m afraid, is far from those Streets comparisons you might have heard and those guitar riffs and less than spectacular drums sound like they were derived from a tried and tested formula.

Still, it�s a formula that works and I have no doubt that this single will do well and be adopted by many a �Match of the Day� montage. There�s promise here, certainly, but I find it uncomfortable to listen to such an uncanny imitation of 90s Britpop because, no matter how many sing-along choruses The Twang can score, or just how �average Joe Birmingham� they look, they�ll just be an imitation.

The challenge, then, is whether they can inspire a �Noughties Britpop� movement and the elemental make-up of �Wide Awake� has a good chance. �The next big thing�? �Ave it�if you want it.

Sam Pollock

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