For Brooklyn rock duo Talk Normal, noise is the name of the game. Their new LP, Sunshine, expands on the fuzz, creating a more visceral, gritty feel. Guitarist/vocalist Sarah Register and drummer/vocalist Andrya Ambro create a blown-out sound that packs a punch.
The album kicks off with a drum roll backed by a taut guitar line on “Lone General,” establishing the sense of urgency that spans Sunshine. It’s the feeling that carries from the reverb-soaked haze of lead single “Bad Date” to the the sludgy chug of “Shot This Time,” showing that Register and Ambro have a remarkable grasp on capturing tension.
The title track starts off all churning guitars under a refrain of “Hell no, uh oh, hell no,” slowing down before picking up the pace again. Over the course of five minutes, it shifts and folds in on itself, sounding like several songs packed into one and showcasing how the duo is unafraid to experiment with structure. “Hot Water Burns” is a standout, containing a spoken-word narrative that starts out vaguely ritualistic before turning into more of a rallying cry. “Open the door and go outside, stretch your legs and stay in time,” Register and Ambro command in unison, creating one of the more obviously melodic moments on the record. Their voices are at the forefront, switching up the sound where Register’s crunchy riffs previously dominated.
There’s a matter-of-fact quality to the way the two deliver their vocals, counterpointing the attitude packed in the guitars. “You can’t stay here because this place sucks,” they intone on “Cover.” Register and Ambro know what they’re doing, and they’re not afraid to tell you what to do, either. Sunshine shows a strong working dynamic between the two members of Talk Normal that can only continue to strengthen.