With all of the garage-rock out there today, why aren’t more bands taking it a step further and going garage-road? The sounds of the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (QRO live review) are more interesting & travel better than your run-of-the-mill Brooklyn garage-rock band, and that’s something that holds true for the returning Brit roadsters, 22-20s, who are back after breaking up in 2006, following their self-titled debut. Garage-road does struggle to stand out in the broader field, making shake/shiver/moan good if not great, but always at least nice.
A front-loaded record, "Heart On a String" kicks off shake nicely, with a garage-road procession that is strong, if not incredibly original. Garage-road is best when it goes through darker terrains (see A Place To Bury Strangers – QRO spotlight on), and 22-20s do it well on the interestingly bitter "Bitter Pills" and especially the alt-garage/country-road genres sweet spot "Shake, Shiver and Moan", which has just enough twang. However, shake suffers somewhat when the band goes brighter (save for the upbeat garage-road toe-tap of early piece "Talk To Me"): "Ocean", "4th Floor" and "Let It Go" are all a little thin & forgettable, especially in the relatively unvaried garage-road genre.
No, 22-20s don’t reinvent anything on shake/shiver/moan – like BRMC, they’re a band that reminds you of other, greater bands, rather than truly stands out on their own. But the record never dips into anything bad, and is quite often quite enjoyable – which is more than can be said for most garage-rock…
MP3 Stream: "Shake, Shiver and Moan"