Remember The Betarays? A band who released some more than decent tracks and earned strong acclaim from fans and media alike, not to mention writing one of the most annoying and irritating songs about sluts which seem to convince placid dull women they were part of the song theme. Well they have evolved into a new entity called The Tax and it has to be said are quite a breath of fresh air. Consisting of vocalist George Hill, drummer Peter Randazzo, guitarist Stevie Watts, bassist Katy Zee, and Peter Jennings on keyboards, The Tax brew a vibrant dance of indie and synth pop veined by a sturdier rock pulse which is perpetually engaging and intriguing.
Whether The Tax is a mere change of name and personal or a whole new entity we could not learn from research but there certainly feels a shift or evolution in sound and style going by the Someone Is Watching You EP. Recorded with producer Tim Hamill at ‘Sonic1’ studios in Wales, the release is a mature and more precise collection of songs which have discarded the obvious hooks for a sizzling melodic enterprise which is as infectious but more compulsive.
The Stoke Newington band has also created a release which is diverse in sound and structure but with a seamless flow across its five tracks. The song I Am Never Alone stands tall with warm mesmeric charms whilst inciting the atmosphere into a near fiery expanse of melodic passion. The vocals of Hill are as distinctive as ever but it has to be said work better within songs which stretch and ask a little of his ability than previous snappy almost too easy pop tunes. His expressive strength powers every word whilst the strings and intense breath of the guitars combine to light up the imagination and thoughts. It is an unexpected pleasure though the transition between the two ‘endeavours’ band wise is not has distinct as elsewhere, the song brining elements of the ‘past’ into its hearty presence.
Though a great song it is tracks like We Tell You A Lie which really initially surprise and then send the passions to somewhere new and loftier. The song marks its territory with scythes of teasing synths and boosts of riffs before forging ahead with the beats of Randazzo into a feisty and magnetic feast of sound and energy. The bass of Zee is a resonating joy whilst Jennings owns the atmosphere the track expels its glory from within. Involved without being complicated and with a lilt of eighties pop, the song transfixes the ear with only an arguably limp solo loosening the grip on the senses for a mere wisp of time as the contagion bursts back in force.
It is an excellent track blown out of the water by the sensational Young, Empty And To Blame. The track romps with mischief and irresistible melodic candy to send the taste buds to overload. You could claim the track is resorting to the simplistic hooks and lures of the past but the band have never sounded this good and with the expansive caresses of the keys and slightly rebellious guitars, the song and release has a grit and nip which definitely makes The Tax a more captivating and thrilling proposition than most. If they can find a real snarl to their sound and songwriting it would be hard to argue against the thought that the band could become one of the major forces in UK indie music.
The rest of the release is equally attention grabbing and with an album in the works, The Tax is a band settling in to make a big mark starting with the Someone Is Watching You EP.
Check out the EP and more at http://soundcloud.com/thetaxband
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