The cover of “Keep Quiet, They Might Hear Us” is fairly low-key. This low-key look really is perfect for hiding a brand of emo meets rock (think Samiam more than Coheed here), and really allows The January Taxi to hit the gates running. “Star Light The Sun” drops the vocal focus of the previous track for a more compelling brand of arrangements that, even in its guitar-heavy state is able to tell a story. When the time comes on “Star Light The Sun”, the emotive (almost to a melodramatic point) vocals really move from the traditional role of imparting lyrics to the listener, assuming a more instrumental role in the tracks. The Blink 182-like guitar work done on “Where It Was” (at times moving into the power chords most identifiable in Weezer’s music) is slow and sedated enough to really allow the constituent parts of the band to shine when the proper times come.
The progression of the arrangement on the track is simplistic but in a good way – it is a sly ploy to incorporate listeners, and really succeeds in accomplishing its goal. It seems like each track on “Keep Quiet, They Might Hear Us” uses this slow and hook approach, as the bass and guitar team up to do much of the same in the slightly alt-country-tinged “The Hello’s”. While there are ties to the more current age of emo and emotive rock, The January Taxi have seen a lot happen in the decade that they’ve been a band. To a degree, this experience is captured in “Keep Quiet, They Might Hear Us”. For example, the epic track “Jome” contains a brand of sedate yet strongly expressed instrumentation, building up into a fury at times that really has more to do with the mid to late nineties “emo” movement (namely bands like The Appleseed Cast and Lewis).
“Keep Quiet” may only have eight tracks, but the average amount of material that drives a track is so dense that the replay value is higher than comparable disc; if one just listens to “This Impossible Dream”, a fuzz mixes along with a stop-start drum line, a steady bass line and an echoing set of vocals. “Keep Quiet” is a disc that works on a number of levels, incorporating a number of bands from a number of ages without The January Taxi allowing this diverse bunch to dicta how the band is going to sound. Here’s to hoping that The January Taxi breaks out in this, the beginning of the second decade of their existence.
Top Tracks: Threading The Needle, Where It Was
The January Taxi – Keep Quiet, They Might Hear Us / 2005 Vacant Cage / 8 Tracks / http://www.thejanuarytaxi.com / http://www.vacantcagerecords.com / Reviewed 17 September 2005