Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Like Talking to Walls

Talking to Walls are a New Haven, Connecticut band who have been quietly making a name for themselves in the Northeast for the last couple of years. Having released an album in 2006 and an EP in 2009, the band has gone about recording, touring, and getting things done on their own without label support. As if to prove the point that they can have a go on their own, the band brought in producer Greg Giorgio who has worked with Interpol, The National, and Mates of State to help put together their latest album We Were Not So Tall.

Taking the best bits and bobs of classic alternative, Talking To Walls have created a sound that would not have sounded out of place in 1991. Perhaps sounding something like old Soul Asylum, The Replacements, or maybe even Dinosaur Jr at their most commercial, Talking To Walls are clearly tapped into something that hasn't been tapped into in a very long time and it's nice to see these elements of the 90's creeping back into today's indie rock. As a result of all this We Were Not So Tall turns out to be a nervous, jumpy, and a melodically fantastic power pop album. With jangly guitars, multi-part harmonies, and choruses that are to hard to forget Talking To Walls would have been touring the world with Paul Westerberg rather than just sounding like him if this was twenty years ago. As it stands, they've come up with a superb retro-informed album of power pop that so rarely faulters it's impossible not to enjoy this from beginning to end.

We Were Not So Tall kicks off with a barrage of excited, hyper tunes that kind of hit you over the head. With crisp production and top-notch songwriting, you know what your getting yourself into by about the five minute mark and there's no looking back after "Come To You," and "Running Out," blow by. While the band takes a few breathers here and there including the sweeping power ballad, "Fine Man," for the most part We Were Not So Tall is a full on energy rush stuck in the last decade of last century. I have to admit, Talking to Walls have taken me back to my college radio days and had these guys been around back then, they would have been number one on my CMJ chart. We Were Not So Tall is a keen, retro-tinged album that's full of vigour, enthusiasm and fantastically catchy songs. I've listened to this record back to back four times and I can just about sing you everyone of the album's choruses; if that's not the sign of a great record...I don't know what is. Impressive and highly recommended, Talking To Walls, are one of the best "unsigned," bands on the planet.

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