Black Taxi have a lot to offer, they're catchy, upbeat, and pretty darn groovy. Their second full length, We Don’t Know Any Better proves this four piece has massive hopes and a good deal to accomplish. Song after danceable song makes this album undeniably fun, but I found it at times to be a bit confusing. "Tightrope" opens the record and, lets be honest, it's one to jive to. It might not be dubbed the most unique of tracks because it clearly draws from pop rock influences, but it’ll hook you in, and you’ll be bopping and shuffling before you realize it's happening. "We Don't Know Any Better" throws a wrench in the trajectory of this album. As a completely different style tune, it brings in more noise and less pop, and is where the directional confusion begins.
Two solid, catchy tracks, but they could be from two totally different bands. I moved on the consider the rest of the album, maybe things would become clear as I advanced forward. Since track two is the title track I figured it might be a better indication of where things were headed, however as much I enjoyed each track, I still couldn't figure out what was going on. Catchy progressions and structure made each tune one to groove to, no doubt that they’ll get those teens bopping, but it didn't seem like a full idea, rather a lot of scattered thoughts. “Do What You Gotta Do" pulls another 180 on me and the band could have done without "Holding on to Nothing" along with a few more pedestrian tracks. The guest female vocals on "Politics" was a savvy addition, adding more of an estrogen presence in future tracks could further broaden their already erupting horizons. "Hope I Never Know" has a Rusted Root vibe and "Tell Me What You Need" is electric proving the uncertain theme of this record.
Lets not confuse these directional blips as sign that this is a dud record, on the contrary, this records pull through with multiple solid tracks and influences' picked from what must be a very large rolodex. Black Taxi have a lot going for them, they can make enjoyable poppy rock songs, solid instrumentation, and a fun dynamic, but We Don’t Know Any Better could have tried making a more cohesive project. Pulling back on the unpredictability, maybe creating a shorter album then releasing and EP with this the less focused tracks could have worked. What’s the mission, a distinct purpose, a goal? Black Taxi know how to craft a song, but they could take some notes from The Horrors on how to appropriately recreate their sound.
Highlights: Tightrope, We Don't Know Any Better
Check out Tightrope for free download HERE.