Review: Talk Show – These People EP

By Live4ever - Posted on 01 Apr 2020 at 7:59am

Sitting here writing this in lockdown you get to thinking that what seemed like the banal just a few short weeks back now comes across as a downright luxury: Talk Show singer Harrison Swann says he wrote much of These People whilst sitting around riding on public transport, an activity now undertaken mostly by people saving lives.

Swann also confessed he filled the lyrics with partially digested globs of popular culture and its disposable script, ripping down taut words to suit the band’s taut music. This tension, perhaps, also reflects the fact that whatever you choose to call indie powered up a level or seven during 2019; the London based quartet share a label with the gifted Squid and boast some suitably impressive chops to go with it.

Their special sauce however is in Swann’s rich, deeply characterful voice, the kind of instrument in itself that elevates the rumbling post-punk of opener Stress into a neat exercise in graduated build and pressure release, while it’s nicely stretched on the galloped, incisor sharp Petrolhead; a song which gains extra points for boasting the almost lost refrain, ‘Fitter than a butcher’s dog’.

These tunes will please some of the people some of the time, but the moment the earth moves comes with Banshee, where the band’s feet come off the accelerator for an instant, Swann easing back on the growl and the guitars set off on a leash into more eccentric, soothing patterns. It’s a peak which takes on the mantle of an indulgence, a respite from a record written in a different world that seems almost unrecognisable when compared to the present.

On this basis, Talk Show will however be a sight and sound for sore eyes and restless feet when society reconnects itself, a joyous mass celebration at a currently unknowable point in the future.


Andy Peterson

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