TAT – Soho Lights (2008) Red Wagon Records, by Ferg

Posted: July 31, 2009 by Ferg in Album Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

tat soho lights American pop-punk is good. Not the Good Charlotte kind, but more like, say, Offspring, blink182, old Green Day…TAT fit into this mould perfectly, with three surprising alterations.

1) They’re from London.

2) The lead singer is female

3) She’s better looking, and just as talented, as Dexter Holland, Tom DeLonge and Billie Joe Armstrong. Tatiana DeMaria is her name, and she’s the driving force, lead guitarist and main selling point of Tat.

I saw them supporting the Bouncing Souls back in 2007 (I think, I have intermittent alcohol induced amnesia) and their energy on stage, their crowd interaction and, importantly, their music, really got me interested. So did she, but I’ll shut up about her now. Their performances at the Warped Tour over the last couple of years have earned them recognition and anticipation for this album.

In spite of Bam Margera’s criticism of the Warped Tour (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9KGyP3zEqA&feature=fvw), I speak for many in the UK who wish we had a version of it. I love pop-punk, I mean, I love punk more, but still, I wish I had a chance to see the Warped Tour, especially if there are similar acts to Tat there year on year.

The album opens with the leading single, Road To Paradise, a catchy fuck-sensibility song, and a good choice for a leading single due to the fact large sections of the album are better – it’s a great preview. Other songs stand out too – the lyrics for Pessimist are like having a female written NoFX song, for instance, and the music’s not bad either. Tatiana can shred a guitar like the most energetic of pop-punk guitarists, refusing to be drawn into distinctions about being good “for a girl,” getting irate in the Road To Paradise video that people assume girls suck at everything [insert innuendo here…in your endo.]

Some songs though, are pretty generic. Everything I Want wouldn’t be out of place on a more standard, samey album, from, say, New Found Glory or Bowling For Soup or, erm, Good Charlotte, and Taking It All just doesn’t do anything for me. Some songs do seem more like filler, which on an album that only just pushes past 45 minutes is a bit worrying.

However – the album does start and end well. Sandra Dee shows a more vulnerable, confident style of writing, and Take You Home would be right at home on Punk O Rama, if it was still going and hadn’t become bastardised by Bret Gurewitz’s selling out to emo wankpots like Matchbook Romance.

For a first album from a young band who forged their reputation on their live performances, this is a promising start. It encapsulates their live energy, and if you just want lively, feel-good pop-punk – yes, I’ll reluctantly draw the comparison – in a similar vein to Paramore, Tat are worth a look.

If they ever come back to tour in the UK, I will be there with bells on. For the music, obviously!

4/5

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