parts of my bicycle are made of chrome – taggart’s press release likens their sound to bands like the pixies, the kinks, and the replacements, which may be overdoing it just a tad — a mount rushmore-sized tad. missing is the unfettered originality of black francis, the clever cheekiness of ray davies, and the mats’ unerring sense of what makes rock and roll rock. what can be detected, at least from a vocal standpoint, is the legacy of kurt cobain’s raspy, affected country twang. such songs as “heavy pedal” and “deferent” rock with heaven-storming rage, yet next to “territorial pissings” and “planet of sound”, they seem tame. even when taggart tries to mix angst and melody (“weekend politics”), the result is disappointing. despite the self-aggrandizing (a necessary evil of every band in the star chamber of musical opinion-mongering), parts of my bicycle… is not without its charms. the straight pop approach in which taggart periodically indulges also happens to bring their most engaging moments. the country styling of “chelsea”, the classic rock chorus of “finders” and the longing of “california” often hit the right nerve; the band shines accordingly.
the main problem with parts is that it sounds rushed. for example, “empty introduction” has a lilting, bouncy beginning that really captures the listener and keeps him guessing, but the song falls victim to a less than satisfactory back nine. the band’s stiffness becomes increasingly apparent when the “the final chapter”, a loosely-played, all-too-short pop tune, ends the album on a positive note but makes you wonder “what if?” perhaps it’s time for taggart to turn down the distortion and the clanging cymbals and start listening to each other. (splendid)