Album Review: Scare Taxi – “Death By Music”
Scare Taxi are the latest stopping off point for former These Animal Men frontman Boag, last seen in garage rockers Thee Orphans a few years back. As someone who was a devoted TAM fan back in the day, it’s good to see the guy still kicking with an impressive fire all these years on.
Scare Taxi are probably the closest thing Boag’s put his name to musically to his most (in)famous band since TAM called it a day and they peddle a similarly tight-wired brand of spiky garage punk, as evidenced by the jittery opening duo of Great Things On My Mind and For Our Sisters, For Our Brothers. Third track Anna has some Dr Feelgood style tightwire r’n’b style guitars with bassist Tara taking on lead vocal duties on both this one and the panicky Get Up Get Off, to provide a nice counterpart to Boag’s vocals. The tribal drums and more downbeat nature of Lunacy meanwhile breaks up the tempo nicely with something a bit different, while the lurching Revelator continues on with the dark seasick paranoid theme that’s characterised the album so far. Fly and If It Bothers You see the band pick up the pace again, with an almost Wire-style post-punk vibe to both songs. Kickin’ Down Doors is a good slice of paranoid angst before the menacing fast-slow Love’n’Loathe’n’Peace’n’Anger rounds the album off in style.
If there’s one slight criticism to Death By Music it’s that while it’s a promising effort, it doesn’t quite have a full-on knockout blow to properly seal the deal with regards to hooking you in. But there’s enough good signs and inventiveness here to suggest that Scare Taxi should be more than capable of coming up with a proper standout track on album number two. If the idea of a one part power-pop and one part post-punk sounds good to you, then this is well worth checking out.
A good first effort from Scare Taxi which sounds like the missing link between the Buzzcocks' twisted brand of power-pop and the panic-stricken claustrophobia of Magazine with plenty of good moments. Apart from the lack of a real standout tune to crown it off, this is a decent effort and hopefully points to good things to come from this band.