Enclaves Music, 2012


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Sometimes extraordinary things come in ordinary sounding packages. JAN is the solo project of Kim Talon, who provides guitar and vocals as one half of the indie rock outfit Eagle And Talon, which is influenced art influenced by the Los Angeles art scene. Talon is an extremely talented songwriter and this self-titled solo album was fleshed out with John Goodmanson, who is best known for his work with Blonde Redhead and Sleater-Kinney. With all that said, you could say I pretty excited to hear this. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

It's unavoidable to mention the early '90s female invasion into punk rock when discussing JAN. Talon's gritty guitar playing and post-punk ideas bring us back to a time when legends like Bikini Kill were reminding everyone that punk was not just a boy's club. However, JAN's music isn't exactly an extension of the Riot Grrrl days. She brings much more to the table, often presenting us with more pleasant melodic moments, raw garage rock, and noisey, distorted indie rock.

“Work For The City” starts off with mid-packed garage rockin' where Talon's vocals alternate between soft and sultry to more forceful. While the guitar playing is very much a focal point throughout the entire disc, her vocal delivery is also a selling point and constantly changing. Fortunately, it's never buried under the busy instrumentation; with “Knit Stems,” which is essentially Talon and her guitar, her voice sounds delicate and pretty. It is the softest song here. Other tracks, like the post-grunge rocker “How To Beast,” sounds like it could have been on Sub Pop in the mid '90s, and “Red Crust Ow” has the sort of post-punk fueled guitars that are very akin to Olympia, WA circa 1993.

“All Of These Igloos” is another anomaly here, a more minimal track with subtle piano that serves as a nice break from the steady stream of louder guitars that come before it. The most experimental tune present is “Winter's Got My Coat,” where a violin is brought in and utilized not quite how you might expect.

A bit rough around the edges yet held together with melodic – albeit noisy underpinnings – JAN's first effort is a great album that brings to mind mid-'90s alt rock as well as the music from K Records, Kill Rock Stars, and Sub-Pop in the post-grunge era but with unexpected and welcomed surprises.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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