Tuesday, April 6, 2010

TWINKRANES and their Spektrum Snakes

TwinKranes have been burgeoning on the Dublin music scene for a number of years and with the release of their debut album, SpektrumTheatreSnakes on the Mancunian label Twisted Nerve, they have finally been praised for their hard work and their popularity just keeps on growing.

Sitting in a friends’ house in London listening to a few records before dinner, a sound echoed around the room that brought back memories of a long lost favourite band of mine. Who knew that a lad from Manchester would rekindle my love for the psycheldelic trio, TwinKranes. Suddenly, their name was everywhere; on various music websites and blogs, being hailed by NME as an ‘unhinged mix of speeded-up krautrock rhythms, dirty drones and wonky synthesisers, which is at once weird and danceable and very pop’, a description which singer and drummer Anto (or Blonde Fox as he is sometimes referred to) confirms. “Yeah I think they hit the nail on the head with that one. I especially liked the Britney Spears reference”. To see ones band being praised in such high profile magazines must’ve been some experience. “It was great to see the band featured in respected publications like NME and Mojo, magazines you’ve grown up with and thankfully they had only good things to say. It’s great for the profile of the band and it can really make people sit up and take notice”. And people have certainly started to take notice.

They seem to have found their niche with the krautrock inspired album, a mishmash of influences and progressive pop sounds that set them apart from the indie-riddled charts. Anto explains that it was a long process over the years of playing live and recording that pointed them in this direction. “We’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t. It’s about skimming off the bad stuff and exploring the avenues that appeal to us as a group”. It seems there was a gap in the market for a band such as TwinKranes, and it was this spaced out sound that led Andy Votel of Twisted Nerve to Kennedy’s of Westland Row and suddenly the witchhunt for a record deal was over. The Manchester music scene always appealed to Anto as he grew up listening to bands such as Happy Mondays and to be apart of the Factory Records influenced city of lights has just given the band more drive to succeed.

Not that they haven’t already had success however. The band has supported numerous amounts of well established bands, most notably music veteran Silver Apples. Anto said that the support slot was great and that “it was an honour to grace the stage with him. He’s a true innovator and it’s amazing how he is still travelling the world playing his music and giving spring chickens across the globe a run for their money”. TK have also had their fair share of headline gigs in all the usual haunts in Dublin as well as a couple of festival slots at LLAMA in Devon, Primavera Sound in Barcelona and Electric Picnic in 2008; the latter being Anto’s favourite since TwinKranes’ conception. “It was amazing to feature with so many amazing bands and the partying was great fun. Hopefully we’ll get on the bill again this year”. With the likes of Fever Ray, Caribou, The National, LCD Soundsystem and Massive Attack playing at the festival, they would certainly stand their ground amongst these confirmed acts.

The band blossomed from a shared love of the same music and the three friends wanted to see where this would take them and while they were at it, “throw a bit of colour into the proceedings”, as Anto aptly puts it. The obscure name arose from the growing Dublin skyline and wherever they each seemed to move, two cranes would appear at the next abode. And to match their unusual band name, monikers of the same degree were born- although they insist that these are for comical reasons and only the guitarist Rooster, whose surname is Rooney, is actually used. Auburn Spinner was derived from Ray’s luscious locks (which he has now since cut off) and his DJ background. He mans the synthesisers and soundscapes that cry out on songs such as ‘High Tek Train Wreck’, ‘The Charmer’ and old favourite ‘Being Kong’. Anto himself provides the hypnotising beats on drums and harrowing vocals, something which requires a lot of skill and concentration as well as stamina. “The funny thing is that you tend to make less drumming mistakes as you don’t have time to think about what you’re playing. There isn’t much room for posing either.”

So what’s next for TwinKranes? The band are studio bound at present to hopefully get an EP release this summer to follow up the widely acclaimed album. This new material will be debuted at a couple of summer gigs which will surely be met by more media and fan interest. On the trailer and soundtrack to psychedelic teen movie Cherrybomb starring Rupert Grint and Robert Sheehan, and a possible a slot at EP at the end of the summer, TwinKranes are set for musical glory and definitely not to be missed live.


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