Taxi Taxi - Maps and Legends
Record Label: Man-Hug Records
Release Date: July 25, 2007
I love surprises. Those simple things in life that aren’t expected to be waiting right around the corner as you walk by. Taxi Taxi are this month’s lovely little surprise. Literally hooked by the album’s opening riff, I urge you to lend them your ears.
Taking notes from indie-folk contemporaries before them, Maps and Legends delivers eleven stunningly-eclectic tunes, best summed up as a work of art. “X Marks the Spot” and the title track are definitely highlights, perhaps because of their immediate similarities to songs by the Michael Cera favorite, Beulah, or perhaps because of their insanely catchy choruses. Although a bit ridiculous, “Shoot the Dog, Chop the Tree” is a nice change of pace from the heavily acoustic/piano-driven songs that surround it. This particular tune fuses bluesy-guitar licks with dancehall grooves fit for a high school prom (disregarding the random screaming at the end).
The band’s vocalist and main songwriter, Terence Bernardo, added to his long list of duties by producing, engineering, and mixing the record. While the production is phenomenal, the mixing has the occasional poor decision, often leaving vocals in the backseat of this musical cab ride.
Here’s the thing about surprises: they exist for a pre-determined length of time, then they’re gone. They leave you with nothing but an imprint on your day in the life of. Unfortunately for Taxi Taxi, none of these songs resonate upon the album’s finale. I cannot recall how a single chorus goes while writing this. Though the album has its few specific flaws (particularly “Man Overboard!”), it flows perfectly. They somehow have managed to incorporate almost every instrument imaginable into these songs, including a few record spins. On Maps and Legends, Taxi Taxi’s songwriting particularly shines, and I can only imagine what the future has in store for them.