2001 Goodfellow Records
Taken returns with their second record for Goodfellow Records, and their debut full-length. Those of you familiar with their previous CDep will most definitely notice a more mature, albeit less incendiary, Taken this time around. Unlike their last effort, which featured amazing components but lacked coherent songs, 'And They Slept' works better as a whole. While the band still seems to get bored with some their own arrangements, seldom playing the same thing for too long, somehow it all fits together. More importantly, the band has definitely forged their own sound, which was a typical complaint associated with their CDep. People would say, "these guys took stuff from everyone and made it their own." While there was some truth to that statement, I really feel that Taken has found their niche, striking a nice balance between blistering, emotional hardcore, and subtle, pleasing melodic rock. In addition to the always impressive percussion talents of drummer Troy Born (who has since left the group), the focalpoint of Taken on this effort is the guitar work. Largely eschewing the forced technicality too many bands use these days, Chad Tafolla and Dan Baird lay down solidly simplistic passages that are both memorable and well-executed. From the powerfully melodic breakdowns of "The Most Feared Thing", to the raw emotion of "A Coward For You", to the upbeat emocore of "Overused History" (complete with clapping), there's a much to be enjoyed on this CD, especially the sing-alongs! My biggest complaints are its length and the engineering. Whatever happened to hour long full-lengths While Taken is no different than 80% of the other bands out there releasing 30 minute "full-lengths", I can't help but want more. And while the production is good, it's not quite as good as the EP. The overall levels seem diminished, so perhaps it was a mastering issue, but this is the first thing I noticed after popping this one in. Then again, I'm anal about that kind of stuff, so most of you probably won't even give it a second thought. Anyway, this is a great effort, and we expected nothing less. It will be tough for these guys to replace Troy on drums, but we sincerely hope they continue to evolve and put out solid stuff for years to come.