First off, let’s get a few things sorted out. This record actually came out in 2006 on a CDR I believe, but has recently been pressed for the first time on record by Bark & Hiss/MIE/Simmo in very limited numbers (100) and looks absolutely stunning, which is why I thought I’d review it. Also, best not get Talons’ confused with the equally brilliant UK band Talons, right, now that’s done, to the record!
To give you an example of what this album sounds like, here are two of the first three track titles, “Fuck the world” and “Fuck everything”, get the idea where this is heading? This is bleak, minimal, lo-fi, experimental acoustic folk and is honestly one of the best albums of its type I’ve ever heard.
In places this sounds like 1000 relationships simultaneously ending in a massive cluster-fuck of melancholic depression, but ultimately it turns out to be rather beautiful and heartfelt record. It is one man, Mike Tolan, pouring out everything he has in 24 minutes of wonderfulness.
It’s quite a slow paced album, it meanders along with the background ambience of people, birds, insects and bottles clinking. This ambience is due to that fact that Mike recorded this in his house with various field recordings adding the atmosphere and several friends chipping in along the way. This works fantastically well and a cleanly produced record would not sound as personal and intense as this does.
With almost whispered lazily delivered lyrics such as “Everything wrong is our fault, when will we stop fucking everything up?” and “Cuz’ in the cold everything dies, everything dies in the winter months” again give you a vivid picture of the despair and anguish that have gone into this record.
It’s been one of my favourites from the first time I heard it, and it’s hard to pin down why, It just has a feel to it, a feel that completely and utterly drags you in and won’t let you go. In a way it reminds me of Adam Gnade, it has the same sort of atmosphere and makes me want to travel across America forever. I can easily imagine myself listening to this on some dusty road in a shitty old car in some backwater American town, and maybe that’s why I like this so much? Because it transports you to a faraway place.
So what I’m saying is, listen to it, enjoy it, love it, buy it!
PS: I would also highly recommend checking out Trouble Books who Mike is also involved in.
Buy UK/Europe: http://www.miemusic.co.uk/
Buy USA: http://www.barkandhiss.com/store/