Review: Taco Hell – Retainer EP

Nottingham four-piece Taco Hell are back with their second EP, Retainer, which is a pretty cool slice of punk-emo-indie-pop. Running the gauntlet from the borders of shoegaze to angst-filled aggression, it makes for an enjoyable fifteen minutes.

‘Retainer’ opens with 34 seconds of naked punk aggression in the form of ‘My Mother Wouldn’t Approve’ as vocalist Joe Booker vents some spleen. It’s followed by a quirky Ross Geller reference on ‘Paleontology (Happy Birthday David Schwimmer)’, which is packed with jerky guitars and a louche vocal from bassist Eleanor Parkinson.

Retainer by Taco Hell

It’s the classic late eighties indie riffing of ‘Hold The Door’ that really ups the game though. Booker’s bawled vocal is softened by Parkinson’s backing vocals and the lamenting finale is lo-slung guitar pop at its finest – a little fuzz here, a touch of feedback there – great stuff. ‘Wait For Me’ follows with a lo-fi indie groove and another dual vocal; it’s nothing new, but is pretty infectious; you can imagine a raucous early afternoon slot in a dark festival tent as it pisses down outside.

‘Baby Teeth’ is more frantic, the typically bendy guitar lines and open chords making for a rocking track with more fine harmonies, Joe’s honest aggression making for an infectious vocal. Things then come to a rousing close with ‘Cheesy Chips’, which starts out with a gloriously frenetic punky feel, before taking a downturn and building to an emotional finale. It’s a great way to finish a great little record.


‘Retainer’ EP by Taco Hell is released on 10 March on Circle House Records.

Taco Hell links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)


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