The surge of the South London drawl continues to grow with the gravelly post-punk energy of four piece Talk Show, a band well noted for their powerful live performances. This is carried over to their singles, as recordings continue to bring this energy alive without being a simple copy from stage to studio. Debut single Fast and Loud delivered exactly what the title suggested, a brazen sound that can, and will, course through a room of any size. Now comes their debut EP with four new singles, taking things way beyond the realm of all things fast and loud.
These People kicks off with a well produced rough and ready feel – easy on the ears yet rippling with that raw feeling of being right there in the room with the band. Maybe an unintentionally well timed theme, Stress takes classic tropes of dark 80s rhythms, meshed together with plucky guitar, opening up a story of making more of life around us, be it fleeting moments in time or physical items.
“The commentary on a certain throwaway culture is highlighted with “cheap, plastic things”, but overall is more thematic than literal.”
Still, that in itself creates a literal meaning that is somewhat more substantial; inviting us in to interpret These People in our own way, each song standing out in its right each listen.
Although the EP has a classic feel, it comes out as a contemporary piece, well placed in the world of today, complete with comforts from earlier eras. This is further supported by the ideology behind the EP, written mostly on public transport, capturing that moment in time and delving deeper right there and then to create something out of it.
Distinctive rhythms come through with drums rolling through Atomica, behind erratic grooves, building up intense energy and excitement the further it goes.
“Pulsing through the body even if just sat on the sofa, it really is a testament to what the band can bring to the table.”
Most striking is Banshee, coming across as if someone turned down the pitch on some 80s pop, mixing in looming bass to create some sort of dark love song. Despite these connotations, it is surprisingly light in tone following the previous two tracks, but not without the signature growl. Lyrically winding through cliched lines, twisting them in their own way; “dancing in the dark together, waltzing hold hands forever” // “be my banshee in the midnight”, Banshee is unexpectedly romantic but not without hints of frustration and pining for answers. Talk Show may well dip their toes into cliche lines, but the track still manages to go deeper; “I woke up lodged between your fourth and fifth rib”, telling of true intimacy and the grotesque beauty of love, albeit unrequited.
As the EP comes to a close, such feelings of romance are replaced with lyrics “fitter than a butcher’s dog”, which is one we can only hope came from one of many ads around the city that had inspired a lot of this work.
Petrolhead anticipates an explosive finish, almost counting down to it in the intro. More satisfying than a dramatic drop however is the persistent growth in pace, tp some degree reflecting the lyrical themes of thinking before you speak, taking time to get the tone right. Perhaps a reminder that less is more. In any case it leaves a lingering image of a butcher’s dog, relieving the theme of stress at the start of this EP with a little touch of humour, something very much needed at this moment in time.