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“Shape and Form 1” is the first in a series of conceptual EPs from the infamous Taxi Violence. This time round they’re deviating from their old-school roots by adding a serious dose of stoner rock to the mix and tweaking the sound to match.
“Shape and Form 1” sounds different from the start. The muffled guitar is midrange-heavy with support from an occasionally overdriven bass, both of which mix Taxi’s preferred blues scales with more-than-usual chromaticism. It’s Queens of the Stone Age tone with enough of Taxi’s own spirit to keep things authentic.
For three tracks there’s a substantial amount of quality material here. Opener ‘Captive by Design’ lays down an entire song before adding two completely new sections that allow a twisting narrative to sufficiently play out. It’s Taxi’s statement of intent for the EP as they break away from conventional sound and structure, even if ‘conventional’ was never a truly fitting label for a band like this.
Track two is one of Taxi Violence’s strangest to date with a melody that squeals like an alarmed creature over an aggressive tempo while a sufficiently terrified van Der Spuy lays bare his tale of the inescapable. They’re known for that element of hedonistic danger but in ‘Grindstone’ Taxi Violence sounds truly malicious. It’s anti-radio in all its twisted glory.
Full-fledged basher and album closer ‘Fake it’ has already been doing the rounds on local radio stations. That heavily segmented rhythm in the chorus drives down like a hammer blow as van der Spuy barks, “If you don’t know just fake it.“
The unplugged album aside, this is the greatest departure that Taxi Violence has made from their signature style thus far. There’s no pretense to mass appeal here. They’re playing harder than ever before, and by the sound of things it’s something they’ve been meaning to do for a very long time.
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Listen to “Form and Shape 1” below on Deezer.