Like their predecessors in Pavement or Teenage Fanclub, Dumb Talk command a guttural mix of melody and punk on their self-titled debut. Even though the album’s vocals trend slightly in the slacker direction, they’re eagerly displaying their lo-fi power pop sensibilities simultaneously. Songs like “Sliced White” or “Bully” are powered with a nostalgia for 90’s era angst and sound particularly raw and fluid. On “Nail Polish” the guitar chords sway carefully while a dejected lead singer sounds powerless to stop himself from the romantic overture of a certain lucky lady.
For me, the album drops off slightly in the second half, but for a young band like Dumb Talk, they’re clearly ready to cut through the B.S. and build on an effective debut album.