How a band that’s smart enough to have such a great name can also be dumb enough to have such a lousy album title is beyond me. Have we really slunk so slow in the creativity department that today’s pop bands have to resort to naming their records after inverted lyrics from old Queen songs (1986’s “A Kind of Magic”)? I mean, what’s next? Manslaughtering King? Aren’t We Contrary Losers?
Fortunately for the Talk, you can’t judge an album by its title and this one just happens to have enough of the right ingredients in place to quite possibly make you believe in the power of pop again. Now these talkers may sound like some kinda new mix of the Buzzcocks and the Vibrators, but they’ve got a lot more sonic tricks up their sleeves. Just imagine if there had been tubular bells on “Orgasm Addict” and you might get the picture.
From the chunky Mott-meets-Ramones attitude of “Imaginary Lines” to the cascading velvet mosh pit of “Sucks Just To Feel” to the shimmering go-go rhythms of the aptly-named “Good Songs,” you should give this disc a chance because after a few plays you’ll have it involuntarily committed to memory before you know it.
Then, just when you think it’s all over, a hidden track pops up that sounds like classic Lennon and McCartney wailing away on acoustics, as received out of the ether on a short wave radio.
And while they’re not yet as good as the Everyothers in the ’70s nostalgia sweepstakes, they’re coming ’round the clubhouse turn with a full head of steam under the hood and a blinkered eye on the finish line.
So get yer yak-yaks out because the Talk rock the rock, and they know that second place is first loser.
E-mail Jeffrey Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.