Thursday, June 25, 2009

Twitch - Medicine Ball

Ahhh...where to begin.

At the tender age of 13 this was easily one of my top 3 favorite bands. Right behind Nirvana and Tool I suppose. (Hey, cut some slack, I was 13 after all.) At the time Kalamazoo's Twitch was easily the most promising band playing in west Michigan, if not all of MI.

What really set Twitch apart from their proggy, art-metal leaning K-zoo brethren was their more rock based verse chorus verse song structures and the amazingly unique croon of vocalist Chris Bryers. It was heavy and original enough for the metal guys and musicians, noisy and simple enough for the grunge kids, and yet still accessible enough for the college rock crowd. I'm sure Bryers' vocals helped with the later as well. There was a warm honesty in his almost "Peter Gabriel via Satan" voice that I'm sure wet a panty or two. (If I remember correctly, the one and only time I got to see them he got hit in the face by the bra of an over enthusiastic female.)

Based on the strength of their self released "Homewrecker" EP they got signed to Grass Records. Based on the strength of that Grass release "Beaten Senseless and Giddy With Love" they got signed to RCA. What happened from there remains a mystery to most. I remember reading a review of the advanced copy of "Medicine Ball" in a local music rag. I think it even showed some art work (be it small) that I never saw again. Rumor had it that RCA could only keep one of their MI signings (the other being the one hit blunder Verve Pipe. Fucking "Freshmen"!). Subsequently, Twitch was dropped and this EP went unreleased. From the sounds of it there was a whole other albums worth of material recorded that got shit canned as well. As it seems to happen too often in situations like this, this prematurely ended a band that had yet to peak in popularity or potential.

I got this on cassette tape at one of thier (last?) shows in K-zoo. I'm not sure if it followed being dropped or if it was during them floating in label limbo. It did seem like they were selling these out of spite either way. Just a hand dubbed 90 minute tape with a Xeroxed lime green sleeve that simply read "TWITCH - Medicine Ball".

I'm throwing in their contribution to the Grass Records tribute to Frank Sinatra ("Pretty Colors") and the b-side to the Jedi 7" ("Wick") just to fatten to zip and sweeten the deal. More info on Twitch can be found here and here. "Homewrecker" and "Beaten Senseless..." are available on iTunes. I suggest you get them both. They are phenomenal. Chances are good though that if you're here getting this from me, you own both and already know that.


  1. very well done. i'm sure there's TONS of twitch fans that still haven't heard the EP. i adore, but the promise of posting 'Medicine Ball' AND the RCA full-length has been a longtime tease on Temple updates...: )

    also, that new Bryers 'Ghost Stories' album should hit anytime now. Sure to be a pip.

  2. as far as kalamazoo stuff goes, i really wish someone would post that unreleased deconstruction the insogrey demo (i lost mine).....i really need to hear that shit!

  3. i am a long time twitch fan. i remember hearing a song... "mary jane" once. been dying to hear that again. it was just on a tape that steve martin had.

  4. THANK YOU! I used to have this on cassette tape WAY back in the day and have been looking for it for YEARS. I emailed the guys in the band about paying for a copy but they never wrote back. You are my savior! Thanks again!