Listen to the 2003 debut album by Charlotte, N.C., band The Talk and you’ll hear a lot of punk rock influence. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll hear an undercurrent melody that’s more reminiscent of ’50s rock or the Stray Cats.
“I just wanted to write a song like,” begins singer Justin Williams, who stammers a bit then finishes with:
“Like if it was 1960 or 1959 for me, how would I write a song?”
That debut – which was recorded as a demo before the band was signed by MoRisen Records, who released it with the title “No You Shut Up” – was actually recorded in 2002.
A new record is in the can, set for a spring release. The band has already worked up enough material for a third record.
And the sound? Well, “It’s changed a whole hell of a lot,” Williams says.
“It basically still kind of like punk rock pop – pop songs that are kind of dirty,” he says.
And then he says the sort of be-all and end-all statement that musicians like to use when they’re being pegged down a little too firmly on their music style.
“I think it sounds like rock `n’ roll,” he says.
Williams, who writes the songs, sings and plays guitar. With him are guitarist Scott Werner, drummer Jeremy Holcomb and bassist C.R. Poole.
Out-of-town gigs get them out of Charlotte’s bustling blessing/curse music scene.
“Charlotte’s cool, but it’s a lot of bands, a lot of glam rock,” Williams says “All these bands are trying to be more rock `n’ roll. It’s like, whatever. You can tell when it’s fake and when it’s not.”
The Talk’s recent cross-country tour – to the West Coast and back – bolsters the case for which side of that line the band falls on. The tour employed a make-it-up-as-you-go strategy that worked some 20 years ago for hard-core punk pioneers like Black Flag and Minor Threat.
“We had this one thing, this pop festival thing in California,” Williams says. “So we threw together seven shows just to get us there.”
(c) 2004, Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.). Visit the World Wide Web site of the Herald-Leader at https://www.kentucky.com/. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.