parts of my bicycle are made of chrome – should musicians stick to one defined genre on the same album? especially when debuting, a band must succumb to a labeling of style and sound if its members want to sell records. that’s not to say that you can’t open a song on the upbeat and carry over into the bridge with a slower, softer mood, like in the first half of taggart’s debut album. that transition actually works for the philadelphia-based indie-punk band, which sounds like a cross between weezer and the lemonheads.
in tracks 1-7, taggart’s musicianship really shines. the tunes are catchy—with a mixture of brighter buzzing guitars and more mellow acoustic guitars drifting in and out. the singer sometimes mumbles or screeches, but is complemented nicely at other times with a chorus of ah’s sung by other band members. and they often sing about love, like in my favorite of the tunes, bufferless.
but, it’s in the second half of the album (tracks 8-13), in which the band metamorphoses into a heavier hardcore punk sound, not nearly as succinct and tasteful as the first half. the first set of songs would make a great accompaniment for a road trip, and would rate higher if it was part of its own separate cd.