Idle Talk have brought a set of refreshing sounds to the table with their latest EP; without making too bold a statement, they have managed to compose an extremely tight and well produced EP that sweetly reminds listeners of bands that are gone, but not forgotten (and with ample reason). Made up of four tracks, the EP makes for some easy-listening, up tempo fun, with unexpected flourishes of talent from each member of the band, with the songs that bookend the project being particular highlights.
The premier track ‘Inner Demons’ opens with some gritty bars of rhythm section; a clean bass tone that could cut through frozen sawdust and a drum beat that gets the foot tapping and the hands clapping. The sound of the snare is a key component of the introduction, a wide sound that really hooks onto you as you listen, building anticipation. Then the rolling guitar lick jangles into the frame, followed by a voice that sounds not unlike The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who barks as the guitar and bass lines become more staccato and stabby. The track takes a turn as the chorus hits, a hooky vocal line, ‘Read all about it!’, is crooned and we’re instantly reminded of The Jam, but only if the backing band was made up of the members of REM. Just before the track errs on the side of repetition, we’re dropped into a pleasant middle eight that is accompanied by some ad libs that are an absolute dead ringer of Michael Stipe, then we’re shot back into the guitar picking that opens the song.
The closing track ‘Soldier On’ starts with one of the catchier bass grooves I’ve heard, and by the time the drums kick in we’re placed on the set of a Guy Ritchie film. The guitars have some tentatively placed delay sounds in the introduction, but soon this is reverted to the stabs that, throughout the EP, have become a band characteristic. Then we drop into what seems to be an anti-chorus that places some much needed rest-time into a what is a very energetic number. The snap with which the song jumps back into its main groove from the chorus is a great touch.
Personally, I would have liked some more challenging subject matter in the lyrics and maybe a few more hooky vocal lines. Perhaps the changes in dynamic in the songs could be worked on as their sense of tension and release is good, but maybe too formulaic in places. Overall, Idle Talk have crafted a high quality EP. The band’s sound is fresh yet nostalgic, bringing back sounds that compare to the likes of Ocean Colour Scene and REM (a sound that I haven’t heard be recreated, or developed upon, in a long time), you’re not once bored when listening to the EP. A highlight for me is the brass instrumentation in the later stages of the track ‘Soldier On’, more creativity like that would be met with admiration.
‘Reaction’ is out on Detour Records on the 26th of February.
Categories: What We Caught in Brighton