They caught me at “Untie Yourself”, a song from their debut album of the same name. I fell in love with their sound. That 80’s/90’s rock ‘n roll, with a touch of garage-rock, was everything. Hearing that it was a South African band was simply satisfying.
Now, Taxi Violence brings you Tenfold, their latest album.
Taxi Violence is a Cape Town-based rock band comprising lead singer George van der Spuy, guitarist Rian Zietsman, Jason Ling on bass and drummer Louis Nel. The group once stated that being friends first is the most important thing for the band and it makes it easy for them to work as a group. That is how they were able to survive 10 years together.
In September, Taxi Violence celebrated a decade of rocking and rolling, living on the edge. These guys are the epitome of what rock is initially about: the “carpe diem”, “screw it” kind of living. They first blessed the stage in March 2005 and since then the band has been causing carnage at almost every (if not all) show they’ve performed at. Having won RBF’s National Battle of the Bands Emerging Sounds Competition in 2005 attests to the band’s success.
Tenfold is a good blend of the 10 years Taxi Violence has been together. Their captivating song-writing stands out with lyrics of simplicity and rebellion; “Pay Dirt” and “Fuck Off and Fry” are two examples. The life of a rockstar is depicted by the traditional guitar sounds and verses in “Hit Me Up”. The intro of “Lead us to the Slaughter” reminds me of Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People’, one of my favourite songs, which also has a similar pattern to “Black Skinhead” by Kanye West. It proves to me that music nowadays is similar and sounds are crossing genres.
I’ve played this album three times over and at this very moment Louis and Rian are unleashing their fiends towards the conclusion of “Black Soul”. Lord!
Some songs on Tenfold confirm that these folks were willing to get out of their comfort zone, to try out new stuff, yet at the same time stick with their genuine sound. Other songs are nostalgic, especially on “Lazy Day”. The production invites you into the song’s enchanting mood, lazing around on a sunset beach without care for the melancholy in the world.
This is simply a good album. The lyrics are clearly audible, even through the gauging guitars, making it easy to sing along. It’s not too heavy and definitely not shallow.
And, yes, I’ve been singing along to the album while typing this review.