90’s grunge: Arguably one of the best music genres to ever come forth in the last 30 years. Because of this, there’s no surprise that a surplus of bands since then have erupted with influences that pay homage to this golden era. However, Parisian band TALIA could easily fit in a lineup with The Clash and Hole. They don’t have influences from grunge—they are grunge. Their newest LP, Thugs They Look Like Angels, plays with reality and fantasy, pushing that line of nerve to just the right place for the album’s entirety.
Along with killer cover art, the album is aggressive and self-affirming. Every song combines rebellion and revolution. “Over The Line”, “Dog Blood”, and “Bounty Killers” are three tracks nothing short of bad-ass. With dope guitar solos, amazing opening riffs, and belty choruses, these gritty songs are not only instrumentally impactful, but lyrically excellent.
The words strung through Thugs They Look Like Angels are impeccable. They capture the feel of the chaotic album in just the right way, and are delivered as such. Take “Self Induced Fever”, a personal favorite because it reminds me of “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. One of the lines most repeated is “No one’s gotta know what you do”, part of the fearless tone the rest of the album boasts. “Play Dead” also has a message of doing your own thing; being the slowest and most chill on the album, it contrastingly consists of lyrics wanting “to light up a spark and ignite a flame”.
Possibly one of my favorite parts of the album is the transition from “Play Dead” to “It’s Been Oh So Long”. As in, there isn’t one. Play Dead ends with a thought provoking and iridescent tone, and then you’re instantly brought into a one minute head banger that ends as suddenly as it’s introduced. Another song that does this is “High Strung”, most notable for its reference to the album’s title, the lyrics emulating walking down the alleyways-“Thugs they look like angels”.