The four-piece band Talking Box Co. comprised of Spencer King (guitar, vocals, synth), Bryan Hatchell (guitar, vocals), Brian Froeb (bass, synth) and Michael Fox (drums, vocals) recently released their debut album entitled Fictional Fears. They play the type of indie rock that hipsters flock to and can draw comparisons to bands like Phoenix, Grizzly Bear, Local Natives and Franz Ferdinand to name a few. Talking Box Co. isn’t in the same league as any of those bands at this point but Fictional Fears does have a number of inspired moments that point to a band that has potential.
Fictional Fears is a solid album. The songs are catchy, the instrumental parts are for the most part engaging and the band has a vibe that is easy to embrace. What the album doesn’t do is reinforce a unique sound that is identifiable to what separates Talking Box Co. from a surplus of indie rock bands that are barking up a very similar tree.
The vocalist Spencer King is a decent yet very young sounding singer. He didn’t win the lottery by being blessed with a one in a million type voice like Matt Berninger from The National or Issac Brock from Modest Mouse. That being said, he has a number of inspired performances; one of those happens to be the Pavement-esque “Somnambulist.” His best moments come when he sings, “What’s the point in praying to God, If you’re gonna blame it on others? If you’re not gonna give it back, What’s the point in having lovers, At all?” He sounds a bit like John Flansburgh from They Might Be Giants.
The band goes upbeat and dance-y indie rock style with “Aluna.” It’s a fairly straightforward song with no surprises while still enjoyable. “Subsurface” sounds like a B-side from a Phoenix album while the closer “Fictional Fears” is arguably the highlight on the album.
Talking Box Co. is a solid band but Fictional Fears, whether they want to or not, compete for your ears with the best that indie rock has to offer since it has glaring similarities to a lot of today’s music. A tall order indeed. The band has probably already conquered their hometown of Boone, NC but have their work cut out for if they hope to get a fan base within the rest of the U.S. Talking Box Co. is a case of wait and see with a suitable start.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook