The Quireboys – Twisted Love (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)

Genre: Classic Rock

Is there a more remarkable comeback story than that charting the Quireboys’ second coming? As guitarist Guy Griffin freely admits within the Twisted Love sleeve notes, those willing to support the band’s revival were few and far between in 2001: 15 years down the line and these never-say-die warriors are fighting fit, firing on all cylinders and leading a whole new army of fans towards rock and roll nirvana.

A fourth studio album in three years could be seen as overkill. But Twisted Love isn’t more of the same. Far from it. Following the band’s positive move towards rootsy, acoustic-driven Americana this is an altogether heavier, darker affair.

There’s no doubt settled rhythm section Nick Mailing (bass) and Dave McCluskey have stamped their mark on a record as powerful as it is thought-provoking. A beefed-up version of Gracie B – more akin to the thumping live favourite – is a convincing case in point and the duo continue to give the Quireboys a renewed cutting edge.

Driven forward by M&M, proven songwriting team Guy Griffin, Spike and Paul Guerin have raised their game and raised the bar. Not since the band’s early 90s heyday have the Quireboys sounded so compelling and so relevant: the bittersweet title track, bullish Breaking Rocks and terrific Ghost Train (underpinned by a Keith Weir masterclass on keys) reveal a band going back to the future and back to what they always did best.

The hope has to be that some of these spellbinding tracks finally force their way into a live set that often struggles to fully reflect an ever-expanding back catalogue. In isolation Twisted Love is a terrific album but hearing the pick of its songs juxtaposed with career classics is the ultimate dream for loyal fans and recent converts alike.