Doc Talk Shock: album review

The Dalian-wave rockers hit their stride with debut Lights of Detour

In their debut full-length, Dalian noise-pop rockers Doc Talk Shock grow by leaps and bounds from their 2010 self-titled EP, which, while competent, found the band at an exploratory crossroads that referenced everyone from Carsick Cars to early Modest Mouse.

With the eight-track Lights of Detour DTS have found their groove in lush, instrument-centred quirk-rock. Opener ‘Sweet Swear’ sets the tone with playful, guitar-driven jams that break into crashing post-rock interludes backed by frontman Jiang Hao’s mellow vocals. ‘Futurist’ and ‘Mind Binoculars’ dig into ’90s indie for inspiration, with jangly hooks and squealing guitar lines that recall the pop dysfunction of Pavement or Pinkerton-era Weezer.

Most admirable is the way DTS have managed to piece together shiny, intricate guitar interplay and slower breakdowns in a way that creates a sense of space in their often dense, rapid compositions. Among the best examples of this is ‘Paint the Volcano’, which combines tinkling play with waves of pounding release in a way that’s not only clever, but builds into a musical and emotional apex. With a bit more gravity, it’s a balance the band will be able to strike every time.
be able to strike every time.

Lights of Detour is available now from Modern Sky. Listen to tracks on Douban.
  • 4 out of 5 stars