Check their Myspace here.
Taken by Cars was recently covered on Pulse.PH, and I must say they were absolutely correct when they said that Taken by Cars came out of nowhere. Personally, I hadn’t heard of them before reading the article. After listening to their debut Endings of a New Kind, I am convinced that the album will be one of 2008’s best releases.
Taken by Car’s sound has been compared to that of Bloc Party, and it is hard to not see why, as both bands take rock and mix in a healthy dose of electronica, guitar effects, and the like. In TBC’s case, it results in a sonic experience that I haven’t heard from a local band since Up dharma Down’s Fragmented. Most of the songs are very ethereal and dreamy, two qualities I like in my music. At the same time, some of the cuts are also very punk-ish, which creates a strong contrast that can really make a person listen. Think of the band as a median between the punk-pop rock acts (and I mean that in the most positive way) and the experimental rock acts like Drip or the aforementioned UDD. Blend the two sounds together and you might just get something that sounds like Taken by Cars.
Listening to the album, it is readily apparent that the guitar work really adds a lot of depth to the songs. The string work sets the mood of the songs, whether it is the dark punk of The Blackout, the sadder, contemplative tone in The Colourway, or the urgency in A Weeknight Memoir (In High Definition). The vocals are a great fit for the band as well, moody and sultry. Overall, the band fits really well into this form of music, and the individual components really blend in nicely.
The best cut in the release is probably A Weeknight Memoir (In High Definition). The song was instrumental in bringing them some recognition in the crowded OPM scene and it is not hard to see why. The song is very catchy and a great primer to the band’s style of music. It’s high spot in NU’s year-end countdown was well-deserved. Beyond that, songs like All for a Tuesday or current radio single Uh Oh give the album punk energy, while the later songs in the album, as noted by The Wily Filipino, show a more deliberate, dreamy sound that can be very soothing. Personally, I think the track arrangement was done on purpose, as shown by the interlude track. It is also interesting to listen to the album on repeat, as the album basically fades in and out due to the hidden track which segues very well back to the intro.
Overall, the album is very good. With its unique mix of punk, electronica, shoegaze, rock, and whatever else, Taken by Cars has produced an album that is refreshingly unique from the plethora of masa-rock and emo bands on the airwaves. It’s a very promising debut and I’m already excited to see what the band can come up with in the future.
Rating: B+ (I think the stars system didn’t really fit me, Urbandub and Pupil would’ve probably got Bs, by the way)
Addendum: The band was featured last week in The Philippine Star, good for them. (It also beats another 6Cyclemind or Cueshe article)