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BILLY TALENT

Billy Talent

Staff Review

Staff Pick

Original
Zak
HPB Staff

Billy Talent

by BILLY TALENT
Debut Album From An Excellent Canadian Rock Group

This is definitely one of those albums that flew under the radar. Billy Talent had a minor hit off this album with "Try Honesty" but they never really got as popular in the United States as they are in their home country of Canada. This is a solid debut album and one of my favorite rock albums. Ben Kowalewicz's unique vocals combined with the rest of the bands musical prowess produces a sound that's both heavy and melodic. I have my favorites like the opening track "This Is How It Goes" & "The Ex" but every song is excellent and it's one of those albums I'll still listen to all the way through. You should definitely give it a listen if you're a fan of rock or punk music.

 
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Billy Talent takes its curious handle from a character name in the 1996 mock rockumentary Hard Core Logo, which traced the continuing adventures of an aging Vancouver punk band. The reference is probably more resonant in the Talent's home base of Toronto; everywhere else, it's a little awkward. Fortunately, the quartet's eponymous Atlantic release struggles mightily to make music matter more than moniker or stylized genre revivalism. Over a muscular, relentless, and viciously catchy 40 minutes, the band checks the wiry, melodic punk of the Buzzcocks while working Fugazi's dueling vocalist dynamic and searingly precise guitar breaks into its own three-minute anthems. The Buzzcocks' influence is immediate and easy; indeed, Billy Talent conveniently opened a clutch of dates on the reunited veterans' 2003 tour. Likewise, Talent benefits from production that tweaks its hooks for maximum sonic pugilism. But while Benjamin Kowalewicz's yowl and screech do bear some resemblance to countryman and somewhat melodramatic Our Lady Peace mouth Raine Maida, his sloganeering lyrics are laced with cynicism, and right-hand man guitarist Ian D'Sa favors tense, angular guitar tones over the enormous compression of the mall-punk boy bands that proliferated at the turn of the century. "Try Honesty" and "This Is How It Goes" certainly have the shout-along choruses. But the latter's "Hold my breath until my heart explodes" is darker than any of Good Charlotte's toothless challenges to authority. There are no nods to hip-hop or power balladry here; "Living in the Shadows" and "Line & Sinker" are roiling, throttling post-hardcore screeds field-stripped to basics, but rebuilt with melody. "The Ex" might be the most straightforward two-and-a-half minutes of punk revivalism on Billy Talent. But even here, the band tears at conventional spurned boyfriend lyrics with vindictive gang vocal interplay, and rushes headlong into the explosive chorus with a nervous energy that's hard to fake. Certainly, Atlantic would like to see Billy Talent hit a chord with the kids -- the record's melodic accessibility bears that out -- but the group wisely favors agitation and tension over cherry-picking from current musical fashion. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi

  • Condition: Used - Good
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: HPB Roseville
  • Seller rating:
  • Label: Atlantic (Label)
  • UPC: 075678361425
HPB pick - In stock


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Track listings

  • 1. This Is How It Goes
  • 2. Living In The Shadows
  • 3. Try Honesty
  • 4. Line & Sinker
  • 5. Lies
  • 6. Ex, The
  • 7. River Below
  • 8. Standing In The Rain
  • 9. Cut The Curtains
  • 10. Prisoners Of Today
  • 11. Nothing To Lose
  • 12. Voices Of Violence
 
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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