The glut of angular guitar bands on London’s live scene seems to confirm that post-punk is very much back in vogue, but Talk Show do well to make a deeper impression on their first EP. While snarling debut single ‘Fast and Loud’ had already done enough to turn heads, ‘These People’ suggests a richer palette of influences, with darkwave and ‘80s goth pop channeling the likes of Sisters of Mercy and The Birthday Party.
Tom Holmes’ flashing guitar partners a startled bassline and choppy drums on ‘Atomica’, while Harrison Swann’s distinctive drawl provides a murky underbelly to ‘Banshee’. “Panic in the cellar, deep breaths on ket,” he growls on ‘Petrolhead’, in one of the more questionable lyrics of this 12-minute record. Somehow, his raging delivery makes it a compelling concept.
Final track ‘Stress’ is the only number that feels out of place. With a chorus that cries out “this is stress at best” over power-punk guitars, the song offers an abrasively uplifting conclusion to an otherwise more menacing collection. At least it’s not all doom and gloom.