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.
to strike every time.
Lights of Detour is available now from Modern Sky. Listen to tracks on Douban.