I’ve written before about the crucial steps of a band’s second release. About the necessary evolution that’s required from album #2. San Jose’s, The English Language, barges to the plate, splaying out the world before them, and declaring their eradicable presence on the act’s sophomore release, “This is Science/Rock & Roll.” The results fall somewhere between breathtaking and sinister, in an awesome display of range, power and attitude.
From the start, “This is Science/Rock & Roll” pitches a brick through rear-view of TEL’s, previous, self-titled debut. The new style is robust, chaotic and frantic. “Zig Zag Drag” has an aggression not yet seen from the 3-piece; a dark-eyed fist, pounding the steering wheel of the TEL machine. It’s a psychosis that reappears again on the album’s title track, which oscillates between a paranoid strangeness and a hidden swankness.
Later on the release, TEL almost touches the psychobilly on tracks like “What’s Wrong With My Baby’s Blood” and the manic depressive “Having Wine.” Even midtempo songs like “The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be,” “See My Baby Cry” or the brilliant balladeering of “Tired of This World” stink of country rock. “This Empty Room” feels like it takes a cue from Guided by Voices, with its comfortably rounded edges, all the while maintaining that Kinks/George Harrison-esque flair that embodies TEL's signature. The album closer, “Captain Tripps” is merely the icing on top of the entire record, with its prog-rock/psychedelic/punk interludes and addictive cut-time chorus.
The album’s first three singles: “Gold of Mine,” “Strange Moves” and “See My Baby Cry” are shining examples of TEL’s newfound range. But the album’s deep cuts take the act further than they’ve ever been. The entire album is a jaw-dropping success. TEL’s evolution from their debut release in 2012 as a slightly malcontent stoner/psychedelic act to full-on band of musical madmen can only beg the existential question: Where will San Jose’s The English Language go next?
We’ll wait with baited breath.
Join TEL on Feb. 1st, at The Blank Club, for the release of "This is Science/Rock & Roll." The 21+ show starts at 9 p.m. and features Grimace and The Fakers and The Livewires.
Visit the events page on Facebook for more.
Visit http://englishlanguagemusic.com/ for more on The English Language.