Album Review: TALIA // Thugs They Look Like Angels

TALIA have the sort of name you can’t help remember: it’s in your face, slightly odd and has a nice ring to it. Which is good really considering their music is exactly the same. The french trio don’t shy away from making noise, having made their first album (‘Cockroach Killer’) all the way back in 2008 and following up with the triumphant ‘Permanent Midlife Crisis’ in 2013, the Parisians are now treating fans to a third bout of riff-fueled, grunge-filled music with ‘Thugs They Look Like Angels’. With ten tracks ranging from the moody melodies of ‘Self Induced Fever’, the acoustic force of ‘The Flood’ and the red-hot riffs in ‘Dog Blood’, the LP is undoubtedly self-affirming as it spews out more 90’s grunge than Hole did back in the day.


From the get go, the album is a tornado of power and angst with ‘American Bride’ that hooks your ears on those fast-paced melodies and gravelly, raw vocals that are still ariose in a way you can’t quite put your finger on. ‘Pay Dead’ follows up, twisting into a more melodic outfit that still belts out aggro despite dripping in emotion. It’s a track that packs a powerful message with “I just don’t wanna lay down and play dead / I wanna ignite a spark and ignite a flame” that invariably supports your own uniqueness and independence.

But then it’s time to watch your step as ‘It’s Been Oh So Long’ knocks the wind out of any listener with its sheer aggression and insurgency. The track is a snappy banger that channels what feels like months of pent-up energy, coming out as a fantastic turmoil. But, for a modern Pixies twist, ‘Johnny Bait’ is a perfect track full of those soaring choruses that are turned right up to 11 – while lead vocalist Nicolas Costa can’t wait to “sink [his] teeth into”, I can’t wait for you to sink your teeth into those behemoth bars. Then, it’s time to bounce through ‘High Strung’s jumpy riffs and be rubbed raw by ‘Over The Line’s grit before landing face first into the unadulterated finale of ‘Bounty Killers’. Belting out all that’s left of them, the album-closer confirms that this is a release that is saturated in as much talent as it is passion and intensity.

‘Thugs They Look Like Angels’ is TALIA’s third album, due for release October 16th.

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