A lot of other rock history comes into play. The clipped tension that connects Sonic Youth, Pylon and Erase Errata comes through in the chiming chords and sharp rhythms of “Eureka” and “Lemonade”. Unlike with those groups, there’s not much to dance to here. Their grinding, ghostly music lurches more than it swings and churns more that it grooves. But guitarist Sarah Register and drummer Andrya Ambro continually build tension, imbuing cacophonous climaxes and quiet interludes with equal momentum.
Ultimately, Talk Normal belong to the Brooklyn Noise-rock circle inhabited by groups like Mouthus, Religious Knives and Sightings. The latter’s Richard Hoffman plays bass on standout track “33”, trading call and response notes with Ambro, then spitting out a signature bass loop under rolling drums and disembodied moans. Despite its taut energy, the piece has a spacious, soothing quality, suggesting that Register and Ambro might eventually explore more openly melodic territory. But hopefully the duo won’t lose the devotion to hypnotic repetition that makes Secret Cog worth returning to.