Labeling a band comprised of accomplished Nashville rock scene purveyors as a “new artist” seems like a misnomer. But for Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil, this designation is only a technicality due to the surprising confidence and self-assurance of their debut album, Goliath.
Longtime friends and frequent creative collaborators, Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil (Jimmy Abegg, guitar; John Painter, bass; Peter Furler, drums) is a natural assemblage of diverse talents with a common drive – to rediscover the thrill of creating music unencumbered by the confines of industry limitations and reins.
Steve Taylor had a solo career in addition to a run with the band Chagall Guevara, of whom Rolling Stone’s Parke Puterbaugh said: “Not since the Clash has a group so effectively turned militant discontent into passionate rock & roll and still maintained a sense of perspective and humor, however black.”
Not since the New Radicals did a band break up so quickly after one acclaimed album, but Taylor emerged from the embers of Chagall Guevara to move more to the production side of things and start his own label. Disillusionment with the business side of the music industry pushed Taylor toward filmmaking, with two theatrical features to his credit, including the low-budget indie Blue Like Jazz, the funding campaign for which helped put Kickstarter on the map. That project’s success led Taylor to also use the same crowdsourcing site to raise money for Goliath, his return to music after years in the indie-film wilderness.
Those supporters received the album digitally at the end of 2014. Through talks planning out some potential 2015 touring opportunities, Sounds Familyre got involved to release the vinyl version. Label founder Daniel Smith says, “Steve Taylor is a pro and he’s just being himself. Listen to that voice…they don’t make them like that anymore. Is it possible to be a true rocker, an observer, a lover, and funny as anything? Yup that’s Steve Taylor. He’s got a new killer band backing him named “The Perfect Foil” and they have a fantastic new album called Goliath. Sounds Familyre is thrilled and humbled to be releasing the LP version of this new album.”
Preceding their 11-song collection, co-produced by Menomena’s Danny Seim, is their video for the single “Only a Ride.” Befitting a lyric that deals in waivers and liability issues as a metaphor for the psychic perils of 21st century existence, the video finds Taylor and company carefully composited into safety-defying footage from the 1980 cult film Stunt Rock trailer, directed by one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite filmmakers, Brian Trenchard-Smith. The director gave his permission and sanctioned the band’s edit. The follow-up video for “Standing In Line” features footage from Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s Le Depart that depicts Jeanne Pierre-Léaud and Catherine-Isabelle Duport as two lovers who connect and disconnect over and over throughout the film.
Says Taylor of the band: “Between the four of us we’ve got a pretty encyclopedic knowledge of music and John has a massive album collection right in the control room of his studio. So we’ll flip through it and be referencing a Sham 69 album from the early ’80s British punk scene, or something from Coltrane or Miles Davis, or Gang of Four or Television.”
With Goliath, Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil are poised to share their intelligent yet primal indie rock sound for those with discriminating tastes and a deep appreciation for independent thinking, razor-sharp lyrics, and white noise distortion.