Tallhart – We Are the Same
Record Label: Equal Vision
Release Date: July 16 2013
I’ve been listening to a lot of progressive-rock lately. Bands like Tides of Man, Emarosa, Dance Gavin Dance (later work), I the Mighty, Hands Like Houses, and Conditions have been filling up my iPod, although I’m not quite sure why. I do enjoy the genre quite thoroughly, but lately, I’ve just been in the mood for bands like this. One band that I wasn’t familiar with was Tampa, FL indie progressive band Tallhart. A few weeks ago, I read that the band was robbed in July while playing a show, because I read it on Absolutepunk.net, and it was that point where I was curious to listen to their music. I heard really good things about them, and if you don’t hear any negative things about a band just from word of mouth, that’s most likely a good thing. That’s most likely because Tallhart is a rather “unknown” band, so not many people have heard of them to begin with. Because of that, I’m rather surprised. Why am I surprised? Well, this band is really interesting to me, because of their overall sound. I’ve noticed that progressive-rock bands tend to fall into two categories – there are prog bands who are very unorthodox, and who don’t adhere to any formula, such as Circa Survive, Emarosa, The Receiving End of Sirens, but then you have bands who have a pop sensibility, such as Tides of Man’s sophomore record, Squid the Whale, and Saosin, to name a few. Finally, a rather odd subsection of the genre has appeared, which I call “indie-prog,” because it combines elements of indie-rock and prog-rock. The biggest band that I can think for this is The Dear Hunter. They’re an indie band at heart, but do have progressive rock elements. The same goes for Tallhart; they’re an indie band, but they do have progressive rock elements within their sound to make them rather unique. Without further ado, let’s dive into We Are the Same, shall we?
The record begins with “Our Bodies,” and like with most records, the intro track is a very important one. It sets the stage for the whole record, and it’s not a bad track. The instrumentation is proggy, and chilled out, but it does have a rather indie vibe to it. Their vocalist reminds me of a vast array of indie frontmen, so that’s ultimately what gives me that vibe. This song is kind of slow, and slightly repetitive, so it doesn’t do much for me, but it’s still a good song to get the record going. Second track “High Speed” definitely has a much faster tempo, and is one of my favorite track on the record. That leads me to the main problem this record has; despite being so short (clocking in at only about 33 minutes), the songs aren’t too distinguishable from one another, and that’s really the main criticism I have. It’s a great record, but the songs are too similar to one another. Only a few really stand out, aside from the first couple tracks, and a couple others. There’s really only a few tracks that I really love on here, and those three tracks are as follows: fifth track “See God Again,” sixth track “Holy Coast,” and eighth track “Mexico.” Ultimately, these songs are my favorites because they are the most memorable, whether it’s memorable instrumentation, lyrics, vocals, whatever. These songs are the ones that distinguish themselves from the record itself. Most of the other songs attempt to do that, but the fact that there’s not much that separates the songs from each other, so it does get a bit muddled together. Other than that, though, this is a solid album. I mean, this band does do something different in their overall sound. They’re in an indie progressive band with a flair for hooks in certain tracks, and they’re a band that people should definitely watch out for, because they have that potential. This is a band that I’ve wanted to listen to for awhile, and I’m really glad I did, because I’ve been playing this album nonstop for the last few weeks.