JOHN TRON DAVIDSON
Emo gets such a bad time. It would do the people of the world good to remember that it wasn’t too long ago that Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional and especially My Chemical Romance were commanding both serious sales figures and concert attendance, and one of the most cathartically heartfelt genres deserves a lot more credit than it gets. Funnel in the meatier angularity of post-hardcore and you can have some tight wedge on your hands, as is the case with Tailblock on their new record Think Or Be.
Straight out of Dartford, Kent, it’s refreshing to hear a band describe themselves as emo without the record sounding drippy or strained. Indeed, this is a particularly dense sound for a three piece. The harmonies are tight, and the way this trio perform together makes it hard to imagine what additional members might accomplish. The opening title track sets the stall out pretty firmly, with hearty, supple guitar driving the song forward.
There’s a strong dollop of early Paramore in this concoction, and although the press release rightly spots Far, Reuben and Glassjaw as influences - on ‘Blisters’ especially - there’s just as much Jimmy Eat World on here, as well as a light serving of the Gin Blossoms on ‘Rocket’. Some of the wirier guitar parts wouldn’t shame Jawbox either, and the overall feel of this record is one of categorical quality.
Slowing things right down on the ultra-emo ‘Listen’ shows a band unafraid to pump the brakes and deliver something that enjoys taking its time, and there’s a slinky dusting of Pelican in the heavier parts of this number. Vocalist Gary Ptaszek carries the songs presented will authority and heart, that latter aspect being something sorely lacking in the modern day. Only the final track, ‘100’ could have a bit more of a backbone - calling the Get Up Kids to mind - but it’s important to stress that it’s less strong than the rest of the material, rather than being a weak song. If you’re on the subs bench on a premiership team, you’re probably still a pretty good footballer.
This is a damn good record. A step up in the individuality stakes compared to previous release Burn Your Bridges, Think Or Be is the sound of a band settling into themselves and staunchly planting their flag in the ground. Truly strong and worth listening to regardless of your interest in post-hardcore or otherwise, Tailblock are a spanking band, so stop reading this and get it instead.
Jak Coleman - Bass guitar/backing vocals
Martyn Kingsmill - Drums/percussion/backing harmonies
Gary Ptaszek - Guitar/lead vocals
Think Or Be
Check out more from Tailblock at the following link: https://tailblock.bandcamp.com/