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I recently read a review of this new album from Japanese guitar band Taffy which compared them to many female-fronted bands of the Britpop era (you know the types: Sleeper, Elastica, Echobelly and so on) when realistically they belong to a different scene altogether. We know that Taffy are huge fans of British guitar bands, and you can read more about them by checking out the recent interview they were kind enough to give us. On new album 'Lixiviate', Taffy do sound like British guitar bands from the 1990s, and having a female singer, this naturally means that female-fronted bands will be mentioned. But this is not Britpop. The music this band make is much closer to what went just before: 'Lixiviate' is a combination of shoegaze, baggy and post-grunge, and importantly, is chock-full of top tunes.
If we take it from the top then things start in an awesome fashion with 'Sweet Violet', a song that could maybe be likened to early Lush (that's Lush before they jumped on the Britpop bandwagon). It's got baggy beats and shoegaze guitars, soft vocals and a rumbling bass. It's pure quality, and this is supposed to be the difficult second album. 'Tumbling' doesn't quite have the same power, but the idea is for a little more sweetness and this they achieve, and do so in the manner of a shoegaze band writing their album's token single. Taffy don't need to write token singles, they've pretty much got an album full of potential singles here. The pounding beats of 'Snowberry' continue this irresistible run and you begin to wonder just where these melodies and gorgeous guitar sounds are coming from. They've definitely tapped into something special.
What comes next is a surprise. They throw in a cover of The Cure's 'Boys Don't Cry', but unless you spot the chord pattern and the lyrics then you wouldn't realise at first. This is no straight cover, this is a slowed-down, fuzzed-up and more sentimental version. It's a big call, but we'd say it's as good as the original, if not better, but that depends on what style you like your indie music to be. By now you've got the size of the album, and 'Stewart and a Yellow Bicycle' is melodic bliss, much like 'Train'. Epic centrepiece 'When Is Forever' is a slight anomaly, starting out much slower and softer than the rest, but it does pick up along its journey. Following this is 'Dawn Red' which is a definite standout and shows everything that's great about the band; it's a beautiful noise and they repeat the trick on 'Maple Art'. The finale of 'No Endings but only the Beginnings' isn't a million miles away from Sad Day For Puppets. 'Lixiviate' must surely be considered for a few end of year album lists. Top stuff.
Download 'Snowberry' for free by heading here
Buy the album
Catch them live:
12th July Bridport Electric Palace*
13th July Scarborough Spa Complex*
14th July Doncaster The Leopard
15th July Newcastle Think Tank
17th July London Camden Black Heart - Club AC30 night
18th July Bristol Thunderbolt
19th July York The Basement
20th July Edinburgh Sneaky Pete's
21th July Manchester Night and Day
22th July Glasgow King Tuts
* Supporting The Wedding Present
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