Taffy - Darkle - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Taffy - Darkle

by Jeff Penczak Rating:8 Release Date:2015-05-10

The aggressive jangle-pop of the opener to this Japanese quartet’s fourth release (‘Suicidal Bunny’) suggests they are big fans of the energetic blasts of guitar-dominated rock that ruled the airwaves about 25 years ago when acts like Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, The Primitives, Ride, The Heart Throbs, et al were all the rage. (The EP’s title also suggests they have a perverse sense of humour, as this light and airy collection is anything but dark.)

The nu-gaze movement has been championing this beloved bygone era, and Taffy are among the top echelon of artists mining this rich musical heritage. Awkward, obtuse titles that typically omit lyrical references ('Redamancy’, ‘Young Tines’ etc) may make it difficult to request a specific song on your favourite radio station, but crystal clear female vocals (in English) certainly draw you in to the swaying, hallucinogenic wall-of-sound rattling around in the background (sedated, never overshadowing – thankfully, the band know they’ve got a strong front woman in Iris [no family name] and have appropriately placed her up front in the mix).

The dreamy ‘Remember to Remember’ floats around the room like a purple haze on a balmy afternoon. A silly, demo-quality 'mono' piece of filler (‘HBD’, ie, ‘Happy Birthday to You’) shows the band can get down and dirty in a ramshackle garage jam, while Brian Jonestown Massacre (presumably Anton Newcombe) has remixed ‘Young Tines’ to add an even heavier psychedelic sheen to the original pop fizz. Another exciting release from a band whose back-catalogue is well worth investigating.

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