Self Defense Family – Talia / Layover

5 out of 5

Label: Deathwish

Produced by: Mark Millar, Kurt Ballou

Exactly the type of SDF I like, delivered on both sides of this excellent 7″.

Literate and imaginative, Patrick Kindlon’s two tales here – Talia’s reflection on, perhaps, the sense for meaning in oneself, or even a failed relationship, referenced as a science experiment; Layover’s metaphor of (again, perhaps, all of this being open to interpretation) a serial repossessor, a stand-in for the coldness of the tale-teller – are worth reading and worth hearing in his passionate shout / speak, given differing tones via the A-side’s folksy demeanor (recorded by Mark Millar) and the B-side’s comparative aggressiveness (via a well-applied Kurt Ballou). When Self Defense Family is operating more in a standard hardcore capacity, I have trouble picking them out from a crowd; and when Kindlon leans into the working class nature of his lyrics, it can get indulgent. But all is balanced here: we get lush and emotive arrangements, expertly recorded so that each carry a punch; and we get fascinating lyrics that are both accessible and yet provide tons of room to work in your own feelings. Each side is excellent; both together are a must-own.