German artist Broken Radio isn’t afraid to mix it up, blurring the lines between genres of music and adding sounds to categories of music that you would never think of bringing together and this innovation screams out from his latest release, Twerk and Twang.  The twang is heard aplenty throughout the eleven tracks, beginning with the deceptive instrumental twangs of ‘Summer Rewind‘ – the twerk I’ll leave up to you, but suffice to say there are several songs with such a beat.  

At first, the sound from the first track leads you towards classic country, but no sooner is it over then the album takes into a different sound altogether with ‘Kill Your Darlings‘.  Country rock rhythms mixed with electro sounds contribute to a feeling of darkness which dissipates with the advent of the next song, ‘Restless Traveller‘; prog rock joins the party to produce a melodic, almost hypnotic track.  There are toe tappers on this album too, the best being the Tom Petty style ‘Adrenaline‘ – a folk sound with country overtones. 

The lead vocals throughout lend themselves to a gravelliness a la Johnny Cash, none more so than on the final track, ‘Many a Mile’ but ‘Sad Symphony‘ also highlights this.  The slow beat of the latter mixed with country rock guitars and smooth vocal harmonies are the perfect backdrop to the lead vocals.  ‘Misbehaving‘, ‘Rolling Wheels‘ and ‘Beat Up V8‘ all have an overall country flavour but with the innovation found in the rest of the tracks, bring something new to the genre whilst harking back to an older, more traditional country music base.  Electronic touches are never far away but fit so well with the rest of the music that you can’t imagine them as anything else.  

This album is a combination of styles and genres that works to great effect and this is matched by Broken Radio’s advice for aspiring musicians:

Seriously, I think the most important thing is to follow your musical ideas uncompromisingly and sometime it will sound great. Don’t be distracted by what others say, don’t change your music to please others, stay focused on your ideas. Only then you are credible and can inspire others for your music.

Twerk and Twang is released on 16 October on Haus Musik and clickety-clack Records.

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