While Twitching Tongues’ 2015 effort, Disharmony, brought the band to wider attention, it was somewhat disjointed – as if the band were still playing around with their style. And not long afterwards, the Californians shed three fifths of their members, with guitarist Lee Orozco, drummer Michael Cesario and bassist Kyle Thomas all departing.
Yet a new line-up has coagulated around founders Colin and Taylor Young and it has really delivered in Gaining Purpose Through Passionate Hatred. The quintet – now featuring a rhythm section of drummer Cayle Sain and bassist Alec Faber, plus former Hatebreed axeslinger F. Sean Martin – feel fresher, tighter and more focused. Ok, there’ll still be those who feel that Colin Young’s vocals are a little ‘Marmite’: Pete Steele and Mina Caputo come to mind on occasions, yet he doesn’t reach their highs (and lows) on ballad Long Gone. But when Twitching Tongues throw themselves into punishing metallic hardcore, they do so in some style. T.F.R.? It’s a passionate torrent of 80s-style USHC with plenty of beefed up bounce. The Sound Of Pain? We’re talking Slayerized thrash with brutal beatdowns. The new recruits seem to have made a real impact, that’s for sure… and you only have to listen to a few seconds of Defection (Union Of The State) to hear Taylor Young and Martin in crushing form.
The depth of Twitching Tongues’ songwriting is also evident throughout and while their more melodic moments can be a little hit and miss, there’s no doubting the band’s ambition… and it elevates them above the chug and bark mosh fodder pedaled by many of their contemporaries. Check out sensational opener AWOL (State Of The Union) if you want exhibit A.
A new chapter for Twitching Tongues then – and one we’re glad they’ve opened.