I'm torn. Either Talbot Tagora are a messy musical accident that will collapse in six months because the band won't be able to control their sound, or Talbot Tagora are young ballsy songwriters who fearlessly craft a careful noise that could become an exciting addition to Seattle's music scene. It's too early to tell, but I'm voting for option A.
Their sound is a refreshed version of everything I loved when I was younger—when grunge was big and punk was right on its heels, when melody was necessary but so was gritty distortion. I went to high school with kids just like the three in Talbot Tagora—they wore the stocking caps, the busted-up shoes, the flannel—but instead of sitting around playing Nirvana covers and complaining about how life is unfair, Talbot Tagora string together disjointed guitar riffs with a maze of bass and drums, and they use vocals almost like another instrument rather than the star of the song (and maybe they do the complaining in their free time, I can't say).
"You Look Like a Human" is going to be their hit, their most memorable song with an almost maddeningly repetitive guitar riff in the chorus. One of the only lyrics (as far as I can pick out) is "We know all your secrets," which the band taunts you with by keeping it low in the mix over disjointed guitar riffs and pointed drumming that's beefed up with a heavy layer of lo-fi recording distortion.
"Guitar Strap" is more haunting—really haunting, actually. There's this high-pitched kiss of guitar throughout that's almost as chilling as that noise that happens right before someone gets disemboweled in the early Friday the 13th movies. Ew.
The most shocking song in their MySpace repertoire is the bombastic Elastica cover. "Connection" has always had punch, but Talbot Tagora stray just far enough from the original to make it louder and more punk.
Everything they do sounds slightly discordant, on the verge of falling apart, but like their poorly knitted thrift-store sweaters, their sound fits awkwardly but in comfortable style. Which makes sense when you listen to it, but probably doesn't when you read about it. Visit www.myspace.com/talbottagora to get the full experience. Like the sweater, it could come undone any day.
Talbot Tagora play the Kirkland Teen Union Building on Sat Nov 17 with Little Party & the Bad Business, Generifus, and Mt. Alps, 7:30 pm, $5, all ages.