Twin Void has a face first, no prisoners approach that sounds like a mix of stoner doom and gutter punk. What’s not to love? After a couple of demos and an EP, this is the band’s first full-length album. The intro goes a long way in explaining why this album is called Free From Hardtimes, as it begins with US news coverage of the COVID pandemic, which is pretty harsh stuff for anyone to hear at this point in time. Once the band kicks in, the sound itself is harsh, with razor sharp guitars slicing through, it’s meant to be a swift kick in the balls for a post-pandemic time.
Hellcat unleashes the attack! Claws seem to fly through the air among the in-your-face riffing and drums. The shards in the howl of the vocals are hair raising calls to arms. Bird Days shows a lighter, grungier side. The lyrics and overall vibe in the vocals have that angsty edge that has long been associated with a certain region of the US. Certainly, this album flows along like a really good IPA, leaning on a classic wooden bar, while a band you’d never heard before rocks your world.
Poor Ol’ Me is a swinging rabble rouser of a track, with the band clearly having a blast on it. Not so much bringing the heat is Set Me On Fire, with a fireplace power ballad sound. Though this seems like a less serious take on their sound, at which the band shows itself to still be pretty capable, I kinda hope they don’t pull out the acoustics so much next time.
Claws seem to fly through the air among the in-your-face riffing and drums…
Sharper Than A Switchblade is a banger with a catchy simple riff that could go for days, setting up a rocking out song with a heavy punk energy, involving a sweet bluesy turn midway through the song. Sky Burial takes that bluesy side and takes it down a deep slope into emotional depths. The distorted guitar is the hero of the narrative of these songs. It always signals a rising of spirits, a heightening of the band’s powers. This song features the best solo of the bunch.
The radio style introduction by Liam Joseph Cormier from Cancer Bats, who’s featured in the next track, really frames the expectations for the punky song it launches. California Death-Rattle is perhaps the most straightforward rocker of the whole bunch, tambourine included. The lyrics are great and really fit the vocal style. You Can Hear The Devil Walkin’ starts on another acoustic bit, shaping up as the Twin Void’s epic final number, which closes up the album in a coherent fashion.
The overall sound of the album is excellent. Rough and raw but clear and powerful. The band’s impulsive riffing determines as much of their sound as the streetwise growls. Twin Void is extremely fun, and this album is doing its good work bringing this band’s own light into the world, and that’s really the best we can hope for, for any of us. With all the hard times that were reflected in the creation of this album, I end up having a good feeling after listening to it.
Scribed by: Goro Riffs