“We dedicate this EP to the 64 women who were at the immigration detention center in downtown LA on November 19, 2014 with Tarah G. Carpenter.” That dedication written on the inside of the album mixed with the almost creepy and mysterious cover had me intrigued. I have no clue how they got my name or how I ended up with a copy of Tarah Who?’s ’64 Women’ EP but I didn’t care. That dedication and the cover alone had me sold and I was optimistic and intrigued as I put the five song disc into my stereo.
Within the first chaotic seconds of “Linger”, I was in love. A mix of voices, strange other-world like noises and the clash of drums here and there, there is really no other word to use other than chaotic. Tarah G. Carpenter’s voice come in and instantly take control of the chaos. There’s something very mechanical and almost alien like with her voice creating a sense of power. You can hear the 90’s grunge influence loud and clear and, as a fan of that movement, I was so happy to hear a band take it and make it their own in this day and age. The music comes and goes and just as the track seems to end, the chaos ensues all over again.
“Copycat” seems to have a bit more of a structure to it than “Linger” but don’t let that make you think this trio loses any sense of their energy or power that was laid out with the first track. This is one of those fist shaking songs. There’s just this very rebellious and resilient vibe to this three and a half minute song that is truly infectious. Although the music is clearly rooted in the 90’s grunge scene, there are clear nods to other genres strewn throughout this EP. About half way through “Copycat” I swear I heard a nod to Slipknot with the sound of an echoey and screeching guitar in the background. There’s also an almost samba vibe to the beat of this song. Intentional or not and regardless if I’m reading these nods correctly or not, it’s these small elements that set Tarah Who? apart from the rest.
The EP slows things down for “Hurt”. Although a cliche song name, this song is anything but cliche. Tarah’s voice and the lyrics are given a chance to shine during this track. It almost acts as a break from the chaos in the previous songs but it’s not quite a breather. There’s something painful and dark about Tarah’s voice in this song and it’s one of those things that, when listening, you realize was there throughout the previous two songs too, you were just distracted by everything else going on. When you mix this darkness with the dedication to the other women who were at the detention center with Tarah, it’s hard not to get lost in that pain and darkness but you also appreciate Tarah and her bandmate’s talent when it comes to turning such a dark experience into something so beautiful.
Things kick back up with “Umbilicus”. This may be the shortest song on the EP at only a second over two minutes but it’s the most aggressive. With only thirty second left in the track, the band kicks into what can only be described as a pit of music. What do I mean by this? As soon as the track hit a minute twenty, I could see the sweaty moshpit in front of me. The strength of the drums from Coralie Herve was matched only by the strength in Tarah’s vocals. Although I was sitting at my desk, I couldn’t help but rewind this track a couple of times just to hear and feel that power.
Most bands would probably end an EP like this on a more chill note but not Tarah Who?. “Numb Killer” brings back the chaos that you were introduced to during “Linger” but instead of having Tarah’s voice control it, her voice just adds to the chaos in the best way possible for the first couple of seconds of this song. Multiple elements that were introduced in the first four songs seem to come back to the limelight throughout this track making it the perfect ending. Did you like the chaos of “Linger”? Perfect! It’s in “Numb Killer”. Did you like the beauty of “Hurt”? Great! You’ll get it in “Numb Killer”. Did you just like every single aspect of the previous four songs? Awesome! You’ll get everything you loved about every other song in “Numb Killer”.
I didn’t know what I was going to get from ’64 Women’ by Tarah Who?. I mean, I didn’t even know how this album ended up on my table but I’m beyond grateful for it.
My Favorite Track(s): “Numb Killer”
Chances Of Getting A Noise Complaint While Listening To In An Apartment: 8.2 out of 10
For Fans Of: Chaos; Not Putting A Label On Music; Supporting The Underground
Mosh-ability: 5.4 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artemis laid right by my computer; Autumn slept in the sun right in front of my desk
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8.7 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5
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