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Review: Talbot Tagora | Lessons in the Woods or a City

Hardly Art (2009)
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  August 10, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars


If you came up as a rail-thin indie kid in the '90s listening to aggressively confusing guitar rock and are now a bit fatter and wondering why nobody is ripping the fuck out anymore, then 1) I probably already know you, so hey, and 2) holy shit, have you heard Talbot Tagora? This Seattle wunderkind trio's debut full-length arrives like a freaky reward from a cosmos that has watched us persevere through 15 years of tightening jeans, steadily ramping foppism, and the crushingly beige influence of adult-contempo alt-country.

Imagine No Age with a hell of a lot more breathing room — or Pterodactyl with a lot less. Chris Ando's guitars roll around in dirty pools of reverb, sprint off like solos with their heads cut off, and pratfall into shimmering sheets of noise; Mark Greshowak's sure-footed bass stands guard against art-punk tendencies toward bottomless treble skronk; Ani Ricci's drums dash across each song like a frenetic tumbling routine.

"Perception Stick" comes off like the connective tissue between the Mekons and the Thermals; "Ichthus Hop" is a zigzagging line between Brainiac and (recent Talbot tourmates) Abe Vigoda. Despite the little mixtape I've drafted up here, it's not a matter of Talbot Tagora's lifting anything in particular — think of Lessons in the Woods or a City as a disrupted mission resumed. Oldsters, listen to the kids: get those bands back together and get back to work.

Related: Pump up the Volume, Secret-agent meh, Dismembers only, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Seattle, Abe Vigoda, The Mekons,  More more >
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