Press play on the Talk Show’s second EP, ‘Touch The Ground’, and you’re immediately greeted with a dry burst of laughter. This unexpected introduction to the EP leads way into an epiphany of sorts for the band — it’s as though with that first clash of drumsticks, the four-piece immediately stretch to their full forms. “I wanna get loose,” chants vocalist Harrison Swann repeatedly on ‘Intro – Laughter’. Talk Show shake off their limbs and prepare to do exactly that.
After their spiky debut single ‘Fast and Loud’ was released back in 2019, the London band initially found their home amidst their city’s post-punk crowd, but across the six tracks on ‘Touch The Ground’, they explore a 90s’ dance-inspired world of wild, gleeful guitar lines and techno drum beats. Here, clearly, is a band who are unafraid to try something different: the resulting EP sees them evoke both the fluid rhythms of Underworld and the contemporary trend of sprechgesang, a vocal delivery that flits between speaking and singing, and is used heavily by the likes of Yard Act and Do Nothing.
Produced by Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and Al Doyle, the sharp and ferocious ‘Leather’ reiterates Talk Show’s earlier desire to “get loose”, but at this point, there is no doubt the band have exorcised any tightly-coiled feelings. Buoyed by a throbbing drumbeat, the track snarls and bites, with sharp and groovy guitar lines that see the band unlock a new side of their sound; one much bigger and bolder than once seemed possible.
They experiment further on ‘Cold House’, a track that sparkles with this band’s newfound freedom of direction. Swann’s wry lyrics (“Service with a smile / But they can’t see beneath it”) bounce atop layers of jagged riffs and distorted vocals; elsewhere, ‘Dirt In The Keyboard’ is led by a powerful, consistent guitar riff that brings a building intensity.
There is a feverish tone to dance music — that singular urge to move, get wrapped up in each satisfying beat and pulse, to exist within its energy. The band take that notion, tear into its core and let it explode: ‘Touch The Ground’ is an explosion of rhythm, one that sees Talk Show ready themselves for their next mad dash across both genre and feeling.
Release date: September 23
Record label: Missing Piece
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