Hal Flavin - The Talk

5 songs
19:24 minutes
***** ****
Watt Blizzard


It’s been known for quite some time that Hal Flavin are more focused on quality than on quantity, which explains why it has taken them three whole years since their debut EP to come up with a follow-up, yet again only an EP containing five songs that just clock in under twenty minutes. Considering how seriously they take their music – they have been playing already on quite a few renowned international festivals – you wonder how long they need to structure their music.

For fairness’s sake, I have to admit that The Talk is a more rewarding listening experience than the debut which was already quite good but didn’t have the same sense of urgency than the new record. Hal Flavin simply call their style electro-pop, but fortunately they are not to be counted among the myriads of bloodless Eighties revivalists that may know the form but certainly not the substance. The trio still plays guitar, bass and synthesizers, but the fact that two of the members have a hard hitting rock background doesn’t go unnoticed. It seems as if the guitar has more punching power than before but at the same time is better integrated into the overall sound. The bass guitar also adds a welcome rhythmic base. The synthesizer sounds are, like in the past, well researched and make for a varied listening experience. The vocals also still maintain the stylish aloofness that you will either love or hate.

The five songs featured on the EP are quite varied, although not so much as let the band appear directionless. My two favourite tracks are the title track which opens the album and the concluding 7th Year. The former is an exquisitely intricate piece of electro pop with a driving melody and a fierce rhythm that will get your knees shaking. The latter is a ballad, but unlike the one on the predecessor, it leaves enough room for the guitar to develop a wonderful crunchy rock attitude. Everything in between is of course also highly recommended, making the whole of The Talk another rewarding listening experience from Hal Flavin who by the way released the EP on their own label. Next to Metro, Hal Flavin should be considered the most important electro export from Luxembourg.

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