Whatever forms that punk has taken the DIY, rough edge has always been prevalent. It adds a charm and a homemade feel that is as recognisable as the smell of gunpowder on Bonfire Night.
Shop Talk is the project of Brooklynite (have I just made that up?) Jon Garcia who has paid his dues in bands present on the island’s scene. The recruits joining him are Alexander Perrelli on drums and Bernard Gann on the bass.
So, having mentioned the punk attitude and feel, what else does the eponymous release offer you?
Hooks. There are hooks galore here, and the genius aspect here is the gentle subversion going on. For me, the best place to see, or rather hear this subversion is on Givin Back. From the off it all feels very familiar, and you’ll find yourself humming away. But then as it comes to the end of the bar it takes a different note than what you’re expecting.
It’s also restrained compared to the rest of the tracks, but it isn’t held back. You can feel the tension straining through each beat, each syllable sung with a belying calm. The crafting here is immense.
Opening track Doze at the Wheel has a frenetic energy that translates into a fierce two and a half minute tour de force of rockabilly inspired stomp. If you’re bobbing your head along to this people will compare you to a meerkat on speed.
Knock on a Door is propelled by sliding bass lines and a vocal performance from Garcia that sounds like he has a tremolo bar lodged in his windpipe. Stranger in all Parts uses short staccato silences to punctuate the verses.
Waterworks closes the mini-album with another demure (by the standards of what came before) performance from all three. The loose bass strings add a grumble and growl that again subverts the norm. Where constrained means taking the edge off, Shop Talk use it to add another layer to their constructs.
All told, it’s a cracking little album that at just over 20 minutes, will leave you wanting more. What more could an artist want?
Shop Talk by Shop Talk was released on the 11th of November on Brainbox Records.