The Tales are a 3 piece alt/rock group from Ayrshire. With influences including Biffy Clyro, Muse, Dorje and Radiohead, you could already take a decent enough guess at how they sound. Having shared stages with them (and seeing them) numerous times, I’d sum The Tales with these three words:
Massive. Riffy. Goodness.
Their recent releases ‘Sheep in Wolves Clothing’ and ‘Stone Age’ certainly back that claim effectively enough. Let’s start with the former, shall we? A short drum blast leads into a wall of sound that instantly brings Biffy to mind; a short and catchy guitar riff reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age follows – very short and catchy. David Peden’s powerful unaccompanied vocals during the first half of the first verse are noticeably covered in delay and reverb, effects which serve both the song and the band’s sound very well. The chorus has a similarly big and full sound and a series of ‘woooaaahh’ moments (a great opportunity for interaction during their shows), then it’s back to the riff. The second verse builds on the first, as expected but by no means a bad thing. A nice breakdown riff after a second chorus, then a final chorus and a reprise of the breakdown and that’s it for ‘Sheep in Wolves Clothing’.
So let’s move onto ‘Stone Age’. The intro opens with feedback and drums, before being joined by short sharp guitar chords and a two note guitar phrase. The verses feature a lovely little descending bass sequence throughout, the tempo is just right to keep your head nodding along throughout. The choruses feel like they drop to half time, which caught my attention the first time I listened and is a nice change up. Then there’s the breakdown riff. Much like Biffy Clyro’s ‘That Golden Rule’ it follows a question and answer pattern; the guitar plays first, then rest of the band join in to respond to it. And when the three piece go at it at the same time, it sounds absolutely ma-hoosive. If you listen with good quality headphones, you can hear bassist Lee Tallintire running his bass through an octave pedal, and there’s a fuzz that features previously in the choruses that sounds simply epic. Put together with the heavy hitting, accented drumming of Scott McRae, and you could probably get blown over if you heard this at a loud enough volume. Fantastic.
The most impressive thing about this band is something that I’ve mentioned over and over like a broken record – the sound that they make. For a trio, it is very impressive that they can make as much noise as they do. And whether you listen at home, or catch them at a gig, they can recreate it every time. So give them a listen, and catch them at a live show when you next get the chance.