Since their performance at last year’s Rock En Seine Festival, Therapie Taxi have steadily been gaining traction across the channel. Having been touring consistently for the last year in preparation for their debut album, Hit Sale has arrived, and has proved itself to be as much of a bastion of youth, recklessness and fearlessness as their live shows.
In addition to the energy and vitality they manage to project during their performances, the adjective that perhaps applies most suitably to Hit Sale is unashamed. Adé and Raph’s lyricism throughout the 14-track record is bold, brash, in some places shocking, and each song contributes perfectly towards the greater image the band have successfully built up of themselves since their inception.
Lead single, and eponymous opener ‘Hit Sale’ is practically a dialogue that simultaneously revels in the sordid and laments the shallowness of the situation it describes. Roméo Elvis collaborates expertly here as the “boloss” – the poor sap enslaved by the wiles of the object of the song. Meanwhile, pulsating synthetic basslines crunch and flow, while an expansive chorus gives proceedings the instantly catchy hook that so many Therapie Taxi songs possess. The track is a worthy opener.
Throughout the album, one thing is abundantly clear: Therapie Taxi can write damn catchy tunes. From ‘J’en ai marre’’s chugging bassline and dovetailing, breathy pop overlay, to ‘PVP’, which begins like a ‘90s R&B number, before a swaggering bassline during the verse leads the track into one of the sweetest, most idyllic-sounding choruses on the album, Adé and co. have a knack for the infectious and the enduring tune.
Therapie Taxi are a young band, and, at times, the album portrays as much. Songs about heartbreak, and critiques of ex-lovers with so many profanities it would be impossible to count them all are tracks which play on something of a dominant theme here. But this belies the depth that the band possesses, which shines subtly through, and elevates a catchy rock/pop album to something of nuance and class. The strings in the chorus of ‘Transatlantique’ swell with emotion underneath a delicate, frilled guitar, while a single synth note flutters and waivers, crystalline within the vast, oceanic expanse. This is followed by the most explicit track on the album, but while ‘Salop(e)’’s verse is as bitter towards its intended ex-lover as the title would suggest (Google it), its chorus expertly reveals a vulnerability and a sorrow that sits at the song’s core.
Hit Sale isn’t just an album chock-full of great tunes, with expertly layered production and dynamic and varied writing, it’s an album with nuance, vulnerability and heart, which is waiting to be discovered. That’s where the real joy of the album lies, and what makes it – and its writers – such a knockout.
Words by Ben Kitto