[31 March 2009]
Talk Normal, a Brooklyn duo comprised of Andrya Ambro and Sarah Register, massage your brain like sandpaper with their Secret Cog EP. But it feels so right. Opener “Grinnin’ in Your Face” is a propulsive dirge that becomes wonderfully unhinged as it dives and bends. The song functions as a compelling opener and a statement of purpose. The mechanized, off-kilter swirl that begins the track announces a point of departure outside mainstream rock.
“Eureka” has a Laurie Anderson-spoken word thing going on, a connection made stronger by the fact that the band shares its name with an Anderson anthology. But this isn’t as clinical as Anderson’s precise, electronic textures—it’s dirtier and more content in its wooziness. “Lemonade” breaks down into sparseness before building to a cathartic explosion. “33 (Featuring Richard Hoffman)” buzzes and clicks with layers of noise and an intermittent, buoyant bass line. The track bears a resemblance to the stop-start drumming and noise punctuation of “Broken Witch” by Liars, but still manages to carve out a distinct identity. Closer “Rest With Me” brings in piano to shoulder the intensity coursing through the entire EP. Talk Normal deserve more attention, as their music is infinitely more interesting than the majority of the Brooklyn critical darlings currently in operation. They can sand down my brain anytime.