Review Taipei Houston - Once Bit Never Bored

Essentially, ‘Once Bit Never Bored’ lives up to its name.

Taipei Houston - Once Bit Never Bored

‘Nepobabies’ – a term anyone who whiled away more than a few minutes on certain apps this summer will be more than familiar with – are often damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Taipei Houston may have attempted a typical introduction to the musical world, playing Brighton’s Great Escape in May before a debut headline show at Camden Assembly, but few new outfits then go on to play Lollapalooza and Reading & Leeds that same summer. So, to clarify, Taipei Houston are San Francisco brothers Myles and Layne Ulrich. Yes, that Ulrich: a name so synonymous with heavy rock it’s impossible not to imagine the pair growing up in a household where amps don’t go lower than eight and highchairs were replaced with drum stools. That dad Lars confesses his main contribution as offering “maybe too much constructive criticism” is beside the point: the only neural connections required have already been made. It’s just as well ‘Once Bit Never Bored’ is noisy, then. It’s hard not to smile when Myles sprinkles multiple huge drum fills through ‘The Middle’, but what’s really key for giving Tapei Houston’s game away is Layne having opted to play bass. Think bass-heavy two pieces, and it’s always Royal Blood and Death From Above 1979. Put the former’s riffs through the grungey filter of the latter – and on ‘Respecter’, their occasional electronic leanings – and that’s largely the sound on offer. But where Mike Kerr and Jesse F. Keeler’s vocals mostly play with just volume and power, Layne borrows from a third famous duo to round his out. The rhythms of ‘Hello From The Bottom’; the repetition on ‘As The Sun Sets’; the erratic shrieks of the wonderfully disjointed ‘Susie Thin Lips’, ‘Drop Song’ and especially the breakneck ‘Hypocrite’ – it’s pure Jack White. Taipei Houston’s work is definitely of ‘a type’, that’s for sure, but when songs frantically threaten to run away from themselves in as exhilarating a fashion as this, it’s an exciting one. Essentially, ‘Once Bit Never Bored’ lives up to its name.