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Posted on August 3rd, 2015 (2:00 pm) by Heather Starks

Slim Twig (real name Max Turnbull) is one of the strangest things to come out of Canada since 1967, when they built the world's first UFO landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta. Had he been born in the same year, we might be discussing the possibility that he is some sort of alien life form, sent from on high to regale us with otherworldly sounds. Instead he is the son of filmmakers Ross Turnbull and Jennifer Hazel, so perhaps it is his life spent on sound stages and in the company of other creative minds that influence the strange, ghoulish creations that flow from his mind. Also, weed. Lots and lots of weed.

To fully understand the level of bizarreness we are talking about here, consider the fact that his last album, "A Hound At the Helm" was based off of a Serge Gainsbourg album, which in turn was based off of Vladmir Nabokov’s tragic but wildly inappropriate love story, "Lolita." His music is often described as having a haunted house feeling, due to the Halloween-inspired sound effects and the tendency to alter his voice mid-song as if afflicted with multiple personality disorder. Please do yourself a favor and check out his blog, where you can purchase a framed gold record of his most recent album, Thank You For Stickin' With Twig. Because according to Twig you can use it to, "Fool your friends into believing you're a grizzled music industry vet! Impress your peers with this big time prop."

The man is not lacking in the humor department. He also happens to be incredibly adept at crafting retro pop songs like "All This Wanting" and "Maintain the Charade", evoking David Bowie - if David Bowie were trapped in a tear in the space time continuum and had nothing better to do but make increasingly freaky music until someone rescued him. Thank You For Stickin' With Twig is a continuation of his progression into the unknown, a mixture of instrumentals, dirty glam rock, and intricate pop songs that will leave you wondering what the hell you just heard.

The album's first track, "Slippin' Slidin'" gears up in fuzzy, wah-wah overdrive and is accompanied by a video that shows a woman walking a man on a leash who is wearing a dog mask and a fur coat.

It's supposed to be a statement about sexual politics but unless you have supersonic hearing, you'll never be able to decipher half of what he says because of incredibly heavy distortion applied to his vocals. The same can be said for parts of "Textiles On Mainstreet" and "Fadeout Killer," but the music and the melodies are so beautifully weaved together it almost doesn't matter. Instrumentals are interspersed throughout the record, the creepiest of which is "You Got Me Goin'," which is less of an instrumental and more of a Gregorian chant about going out of your mind.

Fittingly, there is a cover of Serge Gainsbourg's "Cannabis", bringing us full-circle to all that weed. Twig made a discovery about the link between music and marijuana, probably while smoking out of a stainless steel bowl that he melted down into the shape of a dolphin: "I am fascinated by the idea that music sounds different when stoned. So while I have very little interest in being a spokesman waving a pot leaf flag, I do think it would be an achievement to be able to recreate that feeling of heightened listening for people without the use of any kind of substance." Mission accomplished, because even if you don’t smoke weed, you'll certainly feel like you did by the end of the record.

Thank You For Stickin' With Twig will never be a top ten album, and in all likelihood it will never even crack the charts. But Slim Twig's music has never been about popular opinion; it's more of an artistic expression through noise than an attempt to win accolades. Aristotle said, "There is no great genius without a mixture of madness," and Slim Twig is the living embodiment of that statement. So put on this record, turn off the lights, and let the insanity in.

Track List:

  1. Slippin' Slidin'
  2. A Woman's Touch (It's No Coincidence)
  3. She's Stickin' With Twig
  4. Textiles On Mainstreet
  5. Stone Rollin' (Musical Emotion)
  6. Roll Red Roll (Song For Steubenville)
  7. You Got Me Going'
  8. Fog of Sex (N.S.I.S.)
  9. Fadeout Killer
  10. Trip Thru Bells
  11. Out Of My Mind
  12. Live In Live On, Your Era
  13. Cannabis
Slim Twig Thank You For Stickin With Twig Album Art
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

77 / 100
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