Eugene Twist’s The Boy Who Had Everything is difficult record to pin down. The Glaswegian’s self-released debut opens with the Zutons-esque ‘If There’s Love Where I’m Going’, a heavy amalgam of styles packaged in bursts of menacing saxophone. Twist’s deliciously louche, Southern Gothic lounge-singer vocals stand out immediately — few Glasgow singers have sung with this much confidence and attitude since the 1980s.
Then the album takes a turn for the Elvis Costello with second track ‘It’s Down To You’, a lighter, less-excitable pop ballad. It works somehow, even if it does feel a little disjointed. Twists influences range from Leonard Cohen to Buena Vista Social Club and his multi-instrumentalist tendencies run loose — the result is a collection of songs that sound as if they’d never even met before sharing a track listing. Pop meet rock, folk, country, jazz and psychobilly.
None of that matters, of course, when the songs are good. Twist is a terrific songwriter, with the soulful pop ballad ‘Tough Act To Follow’ and the ethereally folksy ‘Actress on a Mattress’ two of the standout moments. There are moments, too, when he sounds much older than his 25 years: world-weary and heavy-hearted. Although just eight tracks long, he’s produced a very accomplished debut.
Review by: Rachel Devine
Sunday 29th July Avant Garde, Glasgow
Sunday 05th August King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow