Some could say that Talbot Adams is just a regular guy who's been in plenty of rock'n roll bands over the past few years. True indeed, and all of which have made waves in the underworld, but none yet as innocently impressive as his own personal musical vehicle, The Black and Whites. As an integral member of such noteworthy southern explosions like the Darkest Hours, Preacher's Kids, Royal Pendletons, Dirty Knives, and more recently the excellent Jenny Jeans and Dutch Masters, Mr. Adams has been spreading his wild, wild oats across state lines for the better part of the last decade with nary a blemish on his record. Now residing in Oxford, Mississippi and free to concentrate on his new material, The Black and Whites' recordings at first listen will stop you dead in your tracks. Maybe it's the way the vocals are stacked in deliciously melted layers that seem to induce the instant pleasure, or maybe it's just the timeless quality of the music that's so right-on it makes your chest hurt. When one guy who's been such a great collaborator for so long finally gets his hand at the controls, sometimes it's the kind of creative breakthrough that's been waiting to happen, and this debut 7" on Shattered Records is a confirmation of that theory's validity. Backup vocals are the secret weapon of some of the greatest bands on earth, and with the Black and Whites, it's a major part of their lasting impression. Simple songs about simple things played as passionately as this are a crime to go unnoticed, so I'm sure this won't be the last time you hear about this great southern pop band, and with their recent festival debut at Gonerfest 3, all we want is more.
As many bands have tried miserably to ape the Ramones' quintissential sound and came out stinking, it's the subtleties that are the most important and that deserve to be derived more than any tribute album full of songs ever could. Mid-period Real Kids harmonies never sounded this alive even by the waning Real Kids themselves in 1982, but there's just something utterly magical about the Black and Whites' songs and their spotless delivery that is inescapable. From their hardly snotty yet barrelling A-side lead off track, "Fucked Up Heart," to their brilliant and utterly heartbreaking "Bad Expectations," this record is as solid gold as any other 7" released this year and don't even get me started on the B-side! The truly epic "Multiple Girls" is as much of a classic pop rock'n roll song as anything that was released anywhere in the 1970s, and the 'when it rains, it pours' situational dilemma of having nothing and then having everything, will most surely stand the test of time. With Talbot's angelic velvety smooth voice swirling around your head for even a few minutes alongside the perfectly powerful driving guitars, throbbing bass and those heavenly backups, you'll know just how important this record is for your true happiness. Pick up the debut 7" on Shattered immediately from our fine mailorder links on our front page, and get your drooling maws ready for their follow-up single on Douchemaster in the next few weeks. Check out a few tracks from the single HERE, and the remarkable "Bad Expectations" HERE.