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  Reset Start Again  
  Fortune & Glory Records  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

Reset Start Again is the debut album by Talk, a band who appears reluctant to give too much away. Nothing in their press release or on their MySpace page gives any hint as to where they might have come from, although at the risk of sounding like some amateur detective, I did notice that a number of their gigs seem to be in Shropshire, an area of England that – Ian Hunter and, er, T'Pau apart – has contributed very little to the history of rock'n'roll. Whatever their backgrounds though, they've clearly been listening to Radiohead when they were growing up, as Thom Yorke's band of merry men sprang to mind a number of times whilst listening to this album. Most notably, this is seen on Victor, which has such a Radiohead-like intro I thought it was going to be a cover of Pyramid Song. Indeed, had I reviewed this album after just a few plays, I would probably have laboured the Radiohead comparisons and described Return To The Factory as slow Radiohead, Reverberation as bleepy Radiohead, and the concluding Owner's Manual as doomy Radiohead. And so on…

After living with it for a while, however, it's fair to say that there is more to Talk than that, and there's some really good moments here, from the haunting opening title track onwards. Three Way Switch is a definite highlight, featuring some nice harmonies over the drum machines that rattle away in the background, but the pick of the lot has to be System which has a lovely chiming guitar riff that keeps going throughout a la Buzzcocks ESP, providing a lovely backdrop to yet more haunting vocals. It really is a good track this one.

Another highlight is Secret Space, an ambient, dreamy number with a beautiful melody that brings to mind Low before things veer off in a noisier direction, whilst Tin has some Four Tet-like noodling and harmonies that bring to mind Alan Gill on his unsung early 80s Dalek I masterpiece, Compass/Kumpas. Indeed, the more I listen to this album, the more I can hear the likeness between the whispery vocals here and those of Gill, with Out Of Phase (which misleadingly opens like an early 80s electro number!) being another example.

Overall I'd still say there are times when I feel that Talk need to shed some of their Radiohead influences, but I'm glad I persevered with this album as Reset Start Again deserves those repeated listens. They might only be half the band Talk Talk were (sorry, couldn't resist it!), but if my super sleuth work is correct, Talk are already one of the finest ever acts to come from their part of their world!

On a more serious note, I think they could be a band to watch…

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