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REVIEW: 22-20s
Belfast Limelight
17th January 2005

It's perhaps fitting that, in this new year when we find ourselves looking forward to shows from the House of Love, Wedding Present, Slint and Gang of Four, the first new live band that I see this year is the 22-20s. They are a band unashamedly in love with the past, yet due to the success of bands like them (White Stripes, Kings of Leon), they also manage to sound oddly contemporary.
For the first time in many years, I had that buzz of going into a venue without ever hearing the headline band before. I knew roughly what to expect, and to be honest I wasn't actually thinking I was going to enjoy it, but some of their more intense moments really impressed me.
Their music is rooted in 60s British RnB and pop (the Bluesbreakers, the Kinks, the early Stones) and it is a relief when that they take the spirit of a lot of those bands and go somewhere with it. It's too easy to take the Stones as your main influence and end up sounding like Lenny Kravitz, and thankfully the 22-20s manage to avoid that.
I'm new to their material but I found myself liking the slower, more intense tunes better. These reminded me of more twisted punkier blues-based groups like the Gun Club or Green on Red, though that may just be my ignorant first impressions looking for a nail to hang them on.

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