Vancouver, Washington-based quintet FOREIGN TALKS follow-up their 2013, self-titled debut with No Ceilings, a vast departure from the hook-laden, indie-pop of their debut. And while No Ceilings is filled with memorable, beguiling melodies, the outfit (now a five-piece) has expanded into a more reggae-driven sound, while still adding their love of indie-pop into every number.
Comprised of brothers Madison Fischer (lead vocals, percussion) and Marcus Fischer (lead vocals, guitar, bass) with Tanner Steinmetz (guitar, bass, backing vocals), Kevin Downes (guitar, backing vocals, percussion), and Jeff Wagner (drums), Foreign Talks has grown a lot since forming in 2011, while still in high school.
They’ve also matured leaps and bounds from the release of their debut, with, at the very least, each member graduating from high school.
But, with growth and maturity, Foreign Talks have truly come into their own, resulting in the thirteen track collection that is No Ceilings, an album that “represents that our sound has evolved and will continue to ascend upward…” says Marcus Fischer.
“Since the debut,” he continues, “we have all matured musically and personally, and grown in a lot of ways. Our sound has evolved just as much as our lives have, and No Ceilings really reflects that.”
The album starts with Cerveza [ possibly our favourite poolside drink] — the clarity of the vocals is like a cool water. The bass rubs along the spine of the piece as starshaped pinpricks of startling bright guitar sparkle across the landscape. This is fine work.
Typhoon is gentle with clever guitar rhythms and generous voice. The percussion is hypnotic and the lyrics have a surprising snarl and attitude. This is organic, fresh and authentic.
“Rip It Up Slow” is an older number, already out on video. This has a strutting melodic style that reminds us of Dirty Heads. Though fresher and less angry than most ska-punk, this retains a classic pop attitude … Easy now!
For lovers of pop-based American ska/reggae such as Sublime.