Taffy. Shoegaze. 4AD-esque. Radiohead-like. Very good.
There we go. Concise review, we can all go home and buy this excellent record with plenty of time to spare.
However, on the grounds a little more is required; Japanese four-piece Taffy have returned for their fifth album and it’s really rather good. Sure, the first paragraph pretty much sums up Deep Dark Creep Love and that may not make things sound particularly thrilling, but, it all just works. It is shoegazey and it would have been at home on 4AD back in the day – the more sprightly part of the catalogue, anyway. There are melodic and production nods to OK Computer-era Radiohead, particularly on ‘Sunless Echo‘ which sounds unnervingly like a rework of ‘Airbag‘, but, Deep Dark Creep Love has that way of taking ever so familiar ingredients and combining to making a rather more exciting whole. Heck, some of the vocals by the uni-monikered, Iris, could have come off a Breeders record but, who cares? If it works it works.
Sometimes records do come along that, for all they are easy to break down, still manage to be greater than the sum of their parts. First time around Stone Roses were hardly hiding their influences. Frankly, bar the odd creep of second summer of love dance beats into the mix, they were derivative as you like. But boy did they produce a hell of a record. Whilst not at that level, Taffy similarly do little new, but have turned in a real piece of work. Think ethereal vocals, layer upon layer (upon layer) of guitars, both melodic and soaring, rolled across rattling drums. The occasional foray into spikey, punkiness as on ‘The Bates‘, notwithstanding, Deep Dark Creep Love is principally about piling ever more elements into your head until you’re in a screaming guitar-fest with nary a care in the world.
All this might seem incredibly male were it not for the lightness in the vocals. They sort of dance along on top and then within the mix whilst controlled mayhem ricochets around. Not a new trick but one that never fails.
A real pleasure of a record. I hadn’t been on the lookout for the next step in shoegaze but, turns out I’m rather enjoying it.