All Taken are Daniel Daghlarian and Avo Karapteyan, a two-piece alternative rock duo from Los Angeles. We came across them on social media and were blown away by their first single, “Burning Red”. Since then, Daniel and Avo have been working hard on new music and have just released their debut EP, Accept This, on 18th March.
These guys can rock! This becomes apparent from the first track of the EP; “House Of Wolves”. It’s slick and dark and awesome. The introduction of driven guitar is captivating, setting the scene for what’s to come. The lyrics follow suit:
“I hope you’re prepared for what’s about to come,
it was never an option.
The pretty thing over there,
she could tear out your heart
in the blink of an eye.”
The vocals feel sneered as well as defeated, creating this dark vibe and sense of mystery. There is much unsaid and the guitars ‘sing’ with tension. “The House Of Wolves” feels like a warning via guitar raunch.
“Hollow” at the second track has a warm and unpolished sound to it. It has more of a melodic focus at the chorus than the previous track, and the use of an organ gives a feel reminiscent of The Doors. The vocals don’t give a lot away by way of expression, but they are still layered with regret; asking to not have their current state of suffering defined as who they actually are. It’s a heartfelt track, without being overdone or contrived.
“Out of sorts and out of breath she can’t escape the dread in her head”
Third track on the EP is “Rather Not”, which is so very chilled, sedate, and intimate. Clean beats and light guitar with velvety vocals. It builds up into an impressive guitar solo before a sedate close. The track is a description of difficult emotion and responding with the soothing effects of alcohol. The honesty of these characters going through challenges, as best they can, is very real, touching and human. This one will stick with you.
“Please just fill my cup,
I’m a bit down on my luck”
The following track is “Secret”, which brings a very cool and distorted rock vibe, musically speaking. It’s loud and definite. As is obvious from the title, the song is about words kept unspoken, and the fallout from that. “Secret” comes with a very catchy melody.
“You can run, you can hide
But you can’t change what’s inside”
“Restless Nights” is the last of the tracks on the EP and it’s so cool and raunchy, with its guitar tone transporting us to the 70s. I found it hard to focus on the lyrics or much of anything upon first listen, because of appreciating what the guitars were up to: having a damn good time. Mesmerised! This track builds as it continues with simple and clear lyrics guiding the way, before moving into an impressive outro.
“Stay up all night,
Turning left and right
I’m a guest to my demons
Can’t put up a fight”
Accept This is a very cool collection of rock! All Taken’s sound has throwbacks to an earlier time; their raw and unpolished rock carrying with it an attitude that has you pay attention, and a definite lack of pretentiousness. It’s just real rock, dark and grungy at times, without unnecessary frills, speaking about real life things. Well worth a listen.