The Austin Chronicle

Record Reviews

Reviewed by Christopher Hess, February 16, 2001, Music

We Talked About Murder (Has Anyone Ever Told You?)

When "Race Car," the third song on We Talked About Murder's self-titled debut, reaches its screaming chorus ("You're scarred for life!"), you'd swear these four kids from Austin had somehow finagled Guy Piccioto of Fugazi into the studio for a day. But then it passes. And "Rolling Pleas" -- surely that's Eric Bachmann playing the guitar in an Archerly manner, quoting his own "Harnessed in Slums." This too passes, along with many other auditory flashbacks, leaving only the resonant thought of "Thank God someone's still making this music!" The six songs on this EP are classic indie rock, with production so minimal that the tug between the powerful and the subdued is palpable, if not problematic. The drums often sound too small, the utter lack of echo or effect evoking the light tapping rolls of a marching snare. The songs throb against their lo-fi encasement, trapped, it seems, with bigger aspirations. Still, it's beautiful stuff. Intermingling jangly guitars with a churning bass and Tommy-gun drums, every part marking its own territory and trajectory, the music comes together in a crash, diving away into a slowing of time. Three singers, each just a bit different, but all moving nicely from plea to scream. There's plenty of power in We Talked About Murder, subdued or otherwise.


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