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Album Review

In the best possible way, Tam's self-titled debut feels like a throwback to a certain kind of '90s indie rock, with female vocals that are sometimes shouty, sometimes charmingly off-key; simple-but-effective drumming and guitars, and the odd keyboard here and there; and production that's raw but not quite lo-fi. Tam ends up sounding a bit like Guv'ner — an especially apt comparison since they were also signed to Ecstatic Peace! back in the day — and a bit like Marmoset, if they'd had a female singer. The retro vibe of her music isn't all that surprising, considering that Tam has been writing songs since the mid-'90s even though this is her first official release. Most of Tam falls into this off-kilter but catchy territory, as exemplified by her cover of the Arcade Fire's "No Cars Go," "Take What U Need," and the strummy, bittersweet "You're Not Mine." However, the album takes some interesting detours over the course of its 17 tracks, ranging from the cute synth pop of "Top" and "Alien Nation" (in which Tam pronounces "sunshine" as "soon-she-yine" à la Oasis' Liam Gallagher) to the surprisingly dark undercurrents on "Better Off Dead" and "Incest at Best," on which she snarls, "we're so much less than friends." Sometimes the songs are a little too shambling and her vocals are a little too artless. Still, when many indie rock bands are trying to reinvent post-punk for the umpteenth time or are "collectives" full of glockenspiel and flugelhorn players, there's something oddly refreshing about the strange simplicity of Tam's music.

Customer Reviews

yep yep, listen up

awesome cd. that is all


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Named after their singer/guitarist and influenced by artists ranging from the Pogues to Neubauten, the quirky, Montreal-based indie/folk/punk outfit Tam also features bassist J.P. Quintin, drummer Eloi Bertholet, and keyboardist/engineer/bassist Johnny Souranis. An animator for films, Tam began her musical career in 1990 as a rhythm guitarist in Swing Dynamique, where she met Bertholet, before forming the first version of her band in 1996 with former Failsafe drummer Peter Boucher and Souranis, who...
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Tam, Tam
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