Tallhart

We Are The Same

Written by: HES on 13/08/2013 23:36:02

Echoed guitar and choir song. This is the way Tallhart (formerly Marksmen) choose to introduce themselves on their second album "We Are The same". Not only is that a ballsy decision, but already upon the first listen, the Tampa Bay rockers do a great job of hitting the same gloom as Jimmy Eat World did on their "Futures" album. I cross my fingers and hope that this is more than a fan-album.

.. and I should have been of more faith, because Tallhart is surely more than just a copy. Soaring above mediocrity, the opener "Our Bodies" move into canonical singing mixed with a certain sense of sensuality as lines intertwine. I wonder why I've never heard of this band before as I'm taken into the more radio-rock style "High Speed" sporting hints of Brit-rock, with its casual, repetitive chorus. Matt Segallos's voice cuts like a knife through waves of distortion and drums. His placement in the mix is absolutely superb as he never seems like an added thing, even though his voice obviously creates contrast. Movement from high to low, singing to shouting, seems like no challenge to him and on "A Ring a Reason", he drifts in and out of a crisp falsetto effortlessly.

When I say Segallos is placed amazingly in the mix, I mean that he is swirled in an incredible instrumental set up. Each instrument supports, yet breaks off in small pirouettes of pure genius. Thumpingly, almost off-beat the drums disrupt the harmony of the gloomy "See God Again" as waves of piano keeps the picture on the wall, yet slightly askew. All in all this is easy listening like Death Cab for Cutie, but with that twist, that pinch and that salt of personality that makes good bands great. Guitarist Christopher Brickmann adds a rustic, folksy guitar to the start of "Holy Coast" - supported by lyrics of inner demons. As I experienced with Benjamin Gibbards’ recent solo-release a warmer, more wholesome California-inspired tone has crept into American rock and "The Fire" and "Mexico" are part of this dusty, yet enticing wave of both musical and thematical inspiration.

Suffice to say, this album is above your average rock-album. My only real concern is, that the album might be a tiny bit guitar-heavy which is a shame, when you are obviously dealing with more than one talented musician. The album also suffers from a bit of tempi-paralyses. They mainly stay in the same mid-tempo, "comfortable for the rhythm-guitarist rhythm". Leaving all the contrasting up to the vocalist is never a plan for success and it seems the band is trying out other ways to break it up. They're not there yet - but they're so goddamn close to the finish line. Hopefully next time I'll have the pleasure of introducing our readers to something as magical as the close-to acappella title track "We Are The Same". Ballsy in the start, ballsy in the end. The in-between still needs a bit of work.

8

Download: Our Bodies, See God Again, Mexico, We Are The Same
For the fans of: Manchester Orchestra, Jimmy Eat World, Park
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.03.2013
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