EAGLE AND TALON
self release, 2009
Eagle and Talon are pulling a ‘pay what you will’ digital release of their self released 2009 album, Thracian, on their website
So click on over there now so you can have a reference point for this review – that is if you haven’t already heard it.
Unlike many of the big fish who have popularized this method of fan-based dollar n’ cent collection, Eagle and Talon are still little snappers swimming in the great musical sea where chanting “Alms for Poor” is becoming as popular as singing “Louie Louie”. The donations given to EAT for this record will be put towards their next, and hopefully, after you hear the first strained guitar chords off of Thracian you will be passing this band on to your friends and fathoming what they will do next.
Listen to “Georgia”:
The LA-based songwriting duo, Alice and Kim, have been playing music since 2003 and have followed up their 2006 EP, Eagle and Talon Cares, with their debut full length, Thracian, a reference to the inhabitants of the Greek city of Thrace. Pronounced “thray-shun”, the girls chose the title after seeing it on an poster advertising a Bulgarian art exhibit. Just like the land without definite boundaries, Thracian is an exposition of pop sensibility rivaling it’s lawless, avant-guarde art school cousin.
On this record, it is hard to tell if E.A.T have progressed with their sound or have started over, revising their sound completely. This time around is a lot more fluid, raw and the antsy jitters and riddles found on Eagle and Talon Cares have been replaced with more introspective lyrical arrangements. The duo have also enlisted a bit of primitive Casio beat making and have granted drummer Alice Talon a stronger lead vocal presence. In previous press reviews, E.A.T have been compared to Sleater Kinney and honestly I never really understood the comparison until this record. Thracian sounds like the legendary northwest trio’s self titled debut – if it were recorded on the edge of the second decade of the new millennium.
In my mind, E.A.T have always been interesting for their odd lyrical choices, sporadically combining phrases that don’t make much sense besides making the listener question if they are supposed to solve a bizarre riddle. However, on Thracian, the girls seem to be pushing soceity as well as their own limits.
“Georgia” is probably the band’s most political song to date – whether it was intended to be or not. It’s lyrics appear to detail different demographics of people and what they will give up to obtain a sense of security through luxury. One perspective seems to come from the new millennia power couple and their status based accessories: “They’ll trade a baby for a double latte / They’ll trade a baby new car / A baby for a face lift for your wife”. The other side of the spectrum details perhaps the under privileged: “They’ll trade a finger for a fur coat / They’ll trade a finger for a cut and blow dry / They’ll trade a finger for a hamburger with fries”. The song takes a turn to challenge the listener into considering what they have got and what they will give up to help others: “Would you give up your time for a mouthful of voices? / Would you give a glass of blood to help someone survive?”
This record acts as a nod of affection leaning toward 90’s nostalgia and what is more 90’s than a hidden song?! My apologies for spoiling the secret but the hidden track following “Palm Springs” is too good not to mention! Fast forward to 6:13 and hear a nearly tropical Casio swing beat sneak in with sweetly sung vocals. This song is reminiscent of the odd mix and match song arrangements found on Eagle and Talon Cares EP….like they wrote two different short songs and simply cut and pasted the parts together. Hold your breath. It definitely works here.
Who else is neck to neck for KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE’S “BEST RECORDS OF 2009”.