Between opening for Soul Asylum in L.A. this past summer, and their slated opening for Nashville Pussy in France come 2017, Parisian punk trio TALIA has just dropped their third album ‘Thugs They Look Like Angels’: a faintly dystopian adventure album filled with decadence, delusion, and deprecation. A thrash-punk meets pop rock band, TALIA has a great mix of raucous and relatable music and melodies. Let’s take a closer look.
Nicolas Costa, lead vocals, has a very interesting sort of rasp that, to my ears, must hurt his throat after a gig; the quality of which adds not only an edge to the music, but also a softening of that edge. If this Parisian felt inclined, I’m sure he could easily find himself an ‘American Bride‘, but given the death and lies surrounding the lyrics of this tune, maybe we should stick to the music here. The pulls of punchy riffs at the opening, followed by the alternate run of the second verse betrays a musical creativity that seeks out possibilities for boredom, and quickly brushes them aside. The bridge, complete with music pull, and those signature vocals building up to the climax of the tune gives this first track the driving force to keep the audience listening for more.
Bass player Alice Thomas certainly does not ‘Play Dead‘ in any of these tracks, and it is great, even with a simple riff, to have the bass open a tune as her heavy bass is a wonderful addition throughout the album, not to mention her spot-on harmonies that add to the soft edginess of the group. Again, the bass is relatively simple in this track, but it is certainly the main feature.
‘It’s Been Oh So Long‘ since I’ve listened to a thrashy pop rock band like this. The 90′s come washing over me with a heavy swell of muffled bass, craftily contoured guitar, and a rowdy ride in a thin mix that captures the vocals, rather than pushing them out there to shine outside of the drab orgiastic blast from the past.
I’ve never heard of ‘Johnny Bait‘ before, but if it’s used to attract a wide audience then I think the pounding rhythm of Hervé Goardou, mixed with a slight haunt of choice harmonies, and a round of riffs from the guitars (the wonders of editing), is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Halfway through this album is the perfect place to get a ‘Self Induced Fever‘, and in what better than way than through a weighty punk ballad…though that might just be the effect of the fever. As sweet as I’ve heard the raspy Costa get thus far, and with the smallest hint of a guitar solo, and the typical music pull, this tune might just be my favourite of the album, as a sucker for ballads of all kinds.
Now I might be fairly ‘High Strung‘, but I’m certainly not as energetic as this track, the lyrics from which provide the title of the album. With some standard beats and riffs, the rest of the song removes itself from the status quo through interesting sound effects, and a driving, harmonized push to the very end.
‘The Flood‘ rises up to us in the form of another ballad, with heart-wrenching lyrics, acoustic accents, and dulcet distortion a la 90′s pop punk. The simplicity, and despondency of this track has left one wanting more out of this brief but powerful track…and after a moment of silence, a fading in and out of a little electric, and the repetitive lyric “take your big guns and go home”, again leaves one wanting more.
I don’t want to step ‘Over The Line‘ here, but I dare say this track takes one a little further forward from the 90′s, and lands us nearer to the millennial emo-punk era, with stilted guitar riffs, harmonized and morose guitar licks, with a bit of rounded backing vocals, and that haunting harmony so indicative of that time. A great example of just such a tune, TALIA seems to be a wonderful time machine of mid 90′s to early millennial music.
A peppier and more intensely pop-laden track, ‘Dog Blood‘ has some very interesting guitar bits that help the dance around the driving beat, given the comparatively sparse, and relatively repetitive vocals. Another spattering of guitar solo, TALIA seems to enjoy teasing one’s audience with hints of parts they never fully make good on, and music pulls that leave one wondering just what will happen next.
Perhaps accordingly, ‘Bounty Killers‘ ends the album fairly definitively: “I think we’re through”. Splitting the difference between the grungy 90′s pop-punk, and the millennial musings closer to today’s pop-rock, one finally gets the full realization of a guitar solo, and amid the stuttering, scintillating chords, and pounding percussion, no music pulls leave one guessing; this track hits for face value, and is certainly an ace for the close of the album.
TALIA certainly has a niche that they fill, especially opening for 90′s sensations like Soul Asylum and Nashville Pussy, but they meld an assortment of genres to create an interesting melange of music that, though mixed rather thinly , could bring the old to the new in a very meaningful way, keeping the past alive; molding the future today. Do check out the full album right over HERE! And if you want to keep up to date with TALIA, head on over to their site way over HERE!