Before getting this CD, I only knew Seattle's Talbot Tagora as the band that was on every time I tuned into Hollow Earth Radio. And, in some ways, they're the perfect band to hear on the radio- short songs that leave you confused and wanting more, hard to pin down, often seeming like a genre all it's own. Sometimes it would seem that they were on the feedback/noise side of things, sometimes on a Fugazi trip, but each time it was an auditory assault that kind of left me in awe and also kind of like, "do I like this? would I actually listen to this?" Getting the newly-released Lessons in the Woods or a City makes it very clear that the answer to both of these questions is (a very resounding) yes. While not much for dynamics, this album's great simply because it never really lets up; it's intense from start to finish. The highlight in this band for me is drummer Ani Ricci, who is able to instantly set them apart by giving each song a really unique feel. Even when the guitars go into some pretty run-of-the-mill rock riff-age, she's able to make sure we know this band is anything but run-of-the-mill. The two guitar attack is real cool, but I would sometimes like them to push it a little more- get a little busier, noisier. At their best, it reminds me of the way early Archers of Loaf stuff was so busy and ever-changing that it was hard to know where one guitar would start and the other would end. While comparisons probably get made, I, at first, couldn't think of anybody that does a sound quite like them. But learning that guitarist Chris Ando's former band was Mikaela's Fiend made it all so much clearer. Talbot Tagora is, in many ways, like a matured version of Mikaela's Fiend- which was a wonderful, rather unweildy, band that combined equal parts noise and thrash without being either. All the best elements of Mikaela's Fiend exist in Talbot Tagora... it's just a little easier to kick back with their album than it was with any recording I ever heard from Mikaela's Fiend (they were more of a live experience, i'd say). Lessons in the Woods or a City came out on Seattle's Hardly Art, a newer label that has been releasing a pretty wide array of stuff (Moondoggies, Dutchess & The Duke, Pica Beats). Would probably recommend keeping an eye on these guys, they have a pretty interesting taste. Talbot Tagora- Ichthus Hop
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