The buzz around this dance band called Taken By Cars about mid-year last year had me jump over to Youtube to sample what they can offer. After a few viewings, I was mildly impressed, but their influences were downright obvious and -for lack of a better term- correct, in my book. The curiosity never stopped, until I saw their gigs, took their pictures, and now, around a month late, listened to their debut record.
Dance-rock is still that dirty wet sponge of good vibes even after bands like The Rapture and Franz Ferdinand burst this old Gang of Four formula out to the mainstream. The local rock scene nibbled on it with Pedicab leading the trail. Starting at around 2006, a semi-rock revival happened, with novelty outfits loudly claiming that rock is macho, rock is fun, rock is in-your-face. I hardly care, but after convincing myself that there is a need after the highly-promising, but never-realized spunk of Narda‘s Discotillion, this dance-rock thing needed a savior. Easily, it came in the welcome form of the dancing-and-crying moodset Taken By Cars spilled over with their new record, Endings of a New Kind.
However, its hard to put a finger on where to criticize vs. that raving comment. The dance-everybody Uh Oh opens up this oyster, and the melancholy bend-your-elbows-we’ll-dance-a-bit of Shapeshifter closes this tightly-packed 11-song CD. A Weekend Memoir, Logistical Nightmare, and December 2 Chapter VII have to be my personal standouts, where sad-woman angst is channeled properly with quiet potency. Vocalist Sarah Marco doesn’t challenge you: she tells stories, and is ultimately depressed about all of them. This slightly-hopeful yet lovelorn voice is soul-shedding in front of you, and she has this reverb-heavy music squad exclaiming we should just dance the sadness away tonight, right?