Reviews Talk Me Off Cursed

Talk Me Off


There’s a lot to like on Cursed, the debut full-length by Richmond, VA’s Talk Me Off. But as much as I enjoy the structures, the vocal tradeoff, and the political urgency, I just can’t get over the vocals on this record. They just feel flat and robotic at key moments, which is ironic for a band named Talk Me Off.

This is driving punk with pop structures. The structures themselves are predictable – it’s the drums and vocal tradeoffs that control the flow and force. It reminds me a little of The Measure [SA] in how the singers switch roles, or maybe it’s just that Ryan Cacophony sounds kind of like one of their singers. Musically it’s direct and blunt, just like the lyrics – which cover socio-political topics that are often from a feminist perspective. Songs like “Smile” and “Cut It Out” leave little to the imagination: a declaration, not a discussion. To namedrop another band with a different musical style, it reminds me a bit of the great This Is My Fist with its direct, no-bullshit lyricism. I feel a little weird naming those two bands in terms of musical style, though.

I guess Talk Me Off might fit smack in the middle between those two diverse groups. The song structures and crisp production give some pop elements, while the forceful rhythm section and defiant tone are hard-hitting. Ultimately this record feels a little conflicted in production and it doesn’t know where those two concepts meet. I like the ideas presented and I like the energy. But the flow suffers. Both vocalists, Holly Herzog and Cacophony, sing to the beat, keeping time instead of letting their emotions rip. Mentioned earlier for other reasons, both “Cut It Out” and “Smile” also highlight my issues with the vocals. The songs are first-person and personal, but the delivery feels distant.

Listening to this record repeatedly, I get the vibe that Talk Me Off gives an energetic live show and the production on Cursed fails to capture that. It’s a shame, because I like most of what I hear, but at times it feels stale and plotted when the direction of the music calls for seething, unbridled emotion.

6.8 / 10Loren
Shellshag - FUTQ
Leave a comment

6.8 / 10

6.8 / 10

Share this content
VEGAS - Not Ever skyscraper
Recent reviews

The Carvels NYC

Live At The Cutting Room

8.5 / 10 The Carvels NYC - Live At The Cutting Room album cover

2018 is the first time I heard from The Carvels NYC. The cover artwork was what drew me in that time. The music convinced me to ask for more of ...



7.5 / 10 Shellshag - FUTQ  album cover

Shellshag, a duo from Brooklyn, play a unique style of fuzzy stoner punk. Live, Shell and Shag play drums and guitar, standing face-to-face and sharing a Y-shaped microphone stand (pictured ...

Quaker Wedding

In Transit

8.3 / 10 Quaker Wedding - In Transit album cover

Sometimes when you take a test drive, you know right away that it’s the car for you.Quaker Wedding, if they were a car (sorry, but I’m going to drive this ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.