Barely more than a year since the release in the UK of their debut album, Caramel, and Tokyo four-piece Taffy are back with their sophomore album, Lixiviaite.
As with their debut, the band are in love with indie’s history, particularly the pre-Britpop high points of shoegazing and c-86. It’s a sweet album -perhaps a little too sweet at times, but a fun way to spend forty minutes.
Amongst the standout tracks here are album opener ‘Sweet Violet’ and their frankly astonishing version of The Cure’s ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ which they completely make their own. As you would hope from any good cover version – but it’s not just the fact that it’s a female voice, musically they have run with it, and in ways I wouldn’t have thought in decades of listening to the song.
It’s not a huge progression from their debut, but it’s another welcome addition, and a welcome antidote to so much pseudo-indie landfill.
Either way, the band are now coming to England and Scotland in support of the album, and are giving away ‘=3’ away as a free download in support of the tour and album. Download and turn it up very loud (I would, if the wee man wasn’t fast asleep next door).
Those tour dates are as follows:
24th October – The Windmill, London
25th October – Start The Bus, Bristol
26th October – The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
27th October – Broadcast, Glasgow
29th October – Lock 42, Leicester
30th October – Madame JoJo’s, London (White Heat)
1st November – The Compass, Chester
2nd November – Chameleon Cafe Bar, Nottingham
3rd November – Wilmington Arms, London (Club AC30)
According to some sources, Japanese act Taffy have a large debt to Britpop. Whilst I can certainly hear a bit of that in here, to these ears by far a bigger influence onthe Tokyo four-piece is a mixture of c-86, shoegazing -and even a bit of grunge.
Led by vocalist Iris, there might even be a slight nod to Osaka’s Shonen Knife as well, though less of a tendency to sing about food, on the evidence of this LP at least! Over the course of this record, there are no major deviations or explorations of the potential of the indie-pop genre. On the other hand, the album has no pretensions, but a whole heap of anthems to make you jump up and down for joy. And they are streets ahead of so much of the sonic stodge that seemingly passes for indie these days.
Recent single and album closer ‘So Close’ is probably the strongest track here, but there’s plenty on offer to interest casual listeners, too.