The Twenty 20s: Uh! Oh! (2011)
The distinctive, high volume, psychedelic surf guitar, played inside the tile walls of a large public restroom, persists throughout the entire set, and certainly wouldn't have worked, had it only been used sporadically. If you're going for weird, go all the way. But Buddy Holly's 1959 hit, "Raining in My Heart," is played a bit straighter, with Kate's vocal less distorted. The pace is relaxed; the tenor guitar glows like a piece of Homer Simpson's plutonium, before it slips into an island riff behind Vinnie Bourke's trumpet.
One of the set's highlights is Cy Coleman and Caroline Leigh's "I've Got Your Number," with Kate's straightforward vocal an odd but very appealing dichotomy of feline slinkiness and forthright guilelessnessa bold little girl on a romantically predatory prowl. And the band really swings. Allen Toussaint's "Workin' in a Coal Mine," turned into a 1966 top forty hit by Lee Dorsey, gets a rock treatment here, while Kate sounds jaded, dissolute and yearning for love on "Black Coffee," covered famously by Peggy Lee. Punk rockers The Buzzcocks' 1978 tune. "Ever Fallen in Love?," has a crunchy Neil Young guitar groove, and a fade out that leaves the title's question unanswered.
The Twenty 20s' bassistand the disc's producerSteve Purcell penned the closer, "Cellophane," which sounds like a modern classic wrapped in a reverberant glimmer, with Kate delivering its offbeat lyrics with fluid and sassy grace.
There's no same-old same-old with The Twenty 20s. Some risks were taken and a strange and exceptionally appealing sound is the result. And no, The Twenty 20s aren't nuts; they've got style.
Track Listing: Uh! Oh!; Raining in My Heart; Hymn for Him; Clouds; I've Got Your Number; Workin' in a Coalmine; Black Coffee; Ever Fallen in Love; Close Your Eyes; Cellophane.
Personnel: Hetty Kate: vocals; Dean Hilson: saxophones; Vinnie Bourke: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dale Lindrea: tenor guitar; Steve Purcell: bass; Sharky Ramos: drums; Hugh Harvey: drums (5, 7, 9); Steve Grant: trumpet (4).
Record Label: Self Produced