Talbot Tagora: Lessons in the Woods or a City

Talbot Tagora
Lessons in the Woods or a City
(Hardly Art)

If you’re in love with the dirty, raw dissonance of no wave and unstructured noise, this three-piece Seattle band offers an album of alluring guitar drones that should satisfy that taste. Although the musicians here are all in their late teens/early twenties, they show that youthful frustration may have an edge on experience when it comes to reckless creativity. That being said, it seems that Talbot Tagora has mastered the art of destruction and distortion, but might do better at building something out of it.

In case you were wondering, the band’s odd, alliterative name is shared by a large, boxy car developed by Chrysler Europe, which only lasted from 1980-1983; however, the musicians have mentioned that they take their name from a cat they know. Whatever the case, their lyrics are just as mysterious as their namesake. Vocals take a backseat to the dense guitars and drums, and are rarely intelligible, but rather give the impression of a human voice in the midst of mechanical, unhuman-like chaos. The songs mainly mesh together all giving off the same vibe, but the best parts seem to be when the long droning notes are layered with fast-paced riffs.

Despite the potential for the experimental side of things to get out of hand, Lessons in the Woods or a City isn’t a difficult listen. Its repetitiveness and density are somehow more enjoyable when you’re not listening that closely – maybe since, despite their earnestness, it doesn’t quite have anything to draw you in and make it memorable. It’s just good old jumbled noise, with a frank “take it or leave it” attitude.