george makovic – rock beat international, issue no. 23, spring 2003

parts of my bicycle are made of chrome – when taggart’s parts of my bicycle are made of chrome (to be henceforth referred to as “parts“) arrived via rock beat international’s secret underground rock railroad, something about the band’s name seemed familiar. after batting down the cobwebs, i recalled they participated in a generally awful replacements tribute album a year or so ago (and reviewed by yours truly). although not groundbreaking or essential in any way, their cover of “don’t ask why” was enthusiastically bashed out. in other words, they didn’t embarrass themselves. nor do they on this, their debut.

the accompanying dossier states taggart will “rock in the vein of the pixies and superchunk” while proffering lyrics and melody like “the kinks and replacements.” to this writer’s ears, they got it 25% right. the band’s overall sound is quite reminiscent of superchunk, particularly in the massive two guitar wall of sound and nasally singing of…apparently everyone. no one in taggart appears to have a last name (taggart???). but rest assured, steve plays bass, pete mans a guitar as does becker. ward plays drums. they all offer up “vocals” as well. and the vocals suit the band’s sound just fine (but perhaps could be brought up further in the mix). in fact at times the vocals suggest the moberlys. the first couple of listens reminded me of any of a legion of bands that scrapped for attention in the wake of the replacements final days. that list would include (early) goo goo dolls, the junk monkeys and even a truly lame band fronted by yours truly. taggart serves up a good two-fisted bash and thank you sirs for that.

then again, after a few more listens down the line you start to hear where they want to be. “bufferless” has a moody crunchy sound and melancholy backing vocals that really would have sounded great on a replacements record. “empty introduction” has quivery electric piano and an angular guitar riff that recalls tom verlaine. the guitar solo on “rotten life” shows they know rock&roll and art school punk. so yeah, they’ve got aspirations. meanwhile though, the superchunk riffage dominates. you gotta love a band with a backbone and any band would love to have their first outing be as solid as parts. watch out though, they’ve got something up their sleeve and it’s probably gonna hit around record #3.

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