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So after having been broken up for a mere couple of years, Lincolnshire, England’s 22-20s reformed in 2008. Fans of the band’s 2005 eponymous debut album may be a bit nonplussed to find that their bluesy and rootsy sound — they named themselves after the song “22-20 Blues” by Skip James — has been placed on the back burner for a more panoramic Britpop style. “Heart on a String” opens with the pointed angularity of a Franz Ferdinand tune, while the following “Bitter Pills” stylishly stumbles through Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s fascination with the Jesus And Mary Chain, replete with an all-out shoegazing bridge where guitars howl, clang and feedback like 1992 never ended. And the jangly “Ocean” recalls that pre-Oasis time when bands like the La’s, the Stone Roses and Ocean Colour Scene were plugging Rickenbackers into Vox amps and wearing really wide flared jeans. Even London’s mid-‘90s haircut and leather jacket phase gets represented with “Latest Heartbreak,” a rocking cocksure tune that would fit snugly between early recordings by Suede, Elastica, Pulp and even Menswe@r.


Formed: 2002 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Named for the Skip James song "22-20 Blues," the 22-20s hail from Lincolnshire, England, and mix blues, rock, folk, and country influences into a sound that got the quartet noticed early in its career. Vocalist/guitarist Martin Trimble and bassist Glen Bartup had played together in local bands for several years, but formed the 22-20s in mid-2002, while they were still both in their early twenties. Keyboardist Charly Coombes and a series of drummers rounded out the band's initial lineup before the...
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Shake/Shiver/Moan, 22-20s
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