What is it that’s so damn thrilling about poppy melodies juxtaposed with lyrics about first world doom and gloom? Think about it. Fans of emo are constantly seeking something that little bit more depressive in order find something even more relatable than the last band they sobbed to, and yet most of these bands tend to throw shows that are full of fist-pumping , crowd surfing and positive vibes. People have a great time. Yet the music they play live was written for a record that we’re supposed to sit in our rooms and get sad over.
Take Tigers Jaw for example. There’s a band that has me constantly tapping my foot and nodding my head thanks to their immediate hooks and driven guitars, yet I keep on coming back to records like their self-titled not only because the tunes are constantly circling around in my head but because they sing about girl problems and friend problems and other things that we think about when we lay awake at night. I guess what I’m trying to say is that… it’s just a strange concept, isn’t it? Sure, I get that it’s all about bringing people together and eventually rising above our melancholy, but it’s still a strange concept in my eyes. Whatever. I buy into it. This is getting too philosophical.
Richmond’s Close Talker might get what I’m on about here, but, in reality, I’m probably just a blathering idiot. On the other hand though, their debut album So Am I is thirty minutes of straight-up, angsty punk rock fuelled by riotous riffs and yep, you guessed it: lyrics that are going to make you seriously re-evaluate your life. Well, not really, but they sure will make you want to lay on the sofa and moan to your internet friends about it.
I’m as easily forgotten as her,
She’s bored with poetry,
And I’m not very good with my words.
Can’t say the right thing,
So I’m not gonna say anything at all
Apparently some of these guys also jam in Sundials, which actually comes as no surprise - the choruses here are absolutely huge, and the whole record sounds like an extension of Sundial’s pop punk if it were dipped upside-down in this grunge revival everyone’s going on about lately. But then you have tracks like ‘Can’t Stand Your Laugh’ which echoes elements of early 2000s punk rock like Daggermouth and The Movielife, clocking in at under two minutes whilst evoking images of shows you used to go to as a 16-year-old. Some bands might be trying to engage the 90s emo revival, or the grunge revival; or embrace the My Bloody Valentine shoegaze upheaval a-la Whirr. But if there’s one thing that Close Talker are embracing, it’s good ol’ fashioned melancholic punk rock that hits you right in the gut. I probably got half these lyrics wrong.
It isn’t like it was before
We’re not happy anymore
Fear of change, binds us tight
I’m nothing today
I’ll be nothing tonight
You can buy So Am I for your pocket full of spare change on Bandcamp.