It’s like every time I turn my head, there’s another artsy noise band of Brooklyn transplants jamming a drumstick against something to make a fresh weird sound. They either went to art school there or moved from somewhere in the Midwest to try to get a job at Academy Records or Beacon’s Closet. Talk Normal are a female No Wave duo from BK that sound like a mix of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Cop Shoot Cop, but they lack something that both of those bands have: good songs.
Their new album Sugarland is anything but sweet. It has a very loud chaotic sound, accompanied by the whiney vocals of Sarah Register and Andrya Ambro. The vocals on “Hot Song” sound exactly like Kim Gordon’s whispering voice and it’s the soundest song on the album thanks to the dancey drumbeats and catchy fuzzed guitar. The vocals and drumming on “River’s Edge” are drowned out by a vast high-pitched guitar squeal. The album ends with the track “Outside,” which features a really bad saxophone solo and industrial-like sounds in the background. Though this may be what Talk Normal wanted, their music is never steady and feels like a hurricane of racket that’s never going to end.
It’s annoying when noise bands like Talk Normal have every intention of being one of a kind, but end up sounding like every other new and hip noise band. Though they do set themselves apart by being women, they can’t play that card after hearing their music.