TWEAK is back!

“I’m bring 1998 back, these motherfucking hipsters ain’t gonna like that” are the first words that Garth Barnes throws at you with Tweak’s first new song in ten year. After seeing Barnes in Crashcarburn for the past ten years, I almost forgot that he used to front one of South Africa’s most aggressive pop punk bands, but it is now 2015 and Tweak decided that they should do a ten year reunion show for Oppikoppi’s 21st birthday.

My immediate reaction was one of mass euphoria, which was exponentially increased when I listened to their brand new single “The A Team”. I was immediately reminded that this was the first local band that I ever heard at the tender age of ten. Sadly, this was two years after they had broken up. My first encounter with the band was on a disgustingly long car trip from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth for a family holiday of sorts. It was about three hours into the drive. My Gamebody had died so I could no longer attempt to defeat the Pokemon League in Fire Red, and I had finished all the novels I had packed in for the journey. My family decided to throw some CDs at me with the hope that it would keep me entertained, but the only one that seemed remotely interesting to me was a blank CD with the words “Fucking cool” scrawled across it. Naturally, I inserted the disk into my Walkman (yeah, this was well before when ten year olds were given iPhones and iPads), and what greeted me was a band that took all the elements of my favourite bands at the time – Blink 182, Good Charlotte, early 2000s Fall Out Boy – and fused into a chaotic amalgamation of punk rock, pop punk, rap and reggae. It was glorious, and quite possibly created the origin story for how I proceeded to fall in-love with music.

Fast track back to 2015, indie and pop music has taken over global music trends. Tweak is almost a forgotten name in South African music with only those who grew up in the 90s and the early 2000s still knowing their name , but even they have forgotten about the band. Cue Tweak deciding to smash, like a wrecking ball, back into the South African music scene, but there is no half-naked, spoilt ex-Disney princess involved in this comeback.

No. What is involved is one song, four guys, and solid dose of punk rock aggression tied up in an effervescent fusion of pop punk, rap and reggae. “The A Team” is anger and happiness rolled up into one song as they question exactly what happened to the music scene in the past ten years since the band faded into the vestiges of music history. It is everything that was brilliant about Tweak tied up into one song that has one simple message: Tweak is back, and they have not changed.

At the moment, their performance at Oppikoppi is the only show we know of, but the band shall be posting updates on Twitter about a tour in August.

1 Comment

  1. Maxwell Hartzenberg

    October 30, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    You had a Walkman in 2007? Everyone had mp3 players, their phones or cd-players then. It was yesterday.

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