Tralala is a gang of a half-dozen Brooklynites that are taking old school rock, pop, and punk and turning it into party music. Straight out of some '60s underground rock cellar, they grind through three minute tracks with a fury, as if they're just letting their arms, legs, and voices do the work without thinking about it too much.
As their name would suggest, it's all simple stuff, and that's so you don't confuse your brain from your feet. For the population of throwback-style, funcentric hipsters that Brooklyn seems to breed, this right up their alley. For every 100,000 people that listen to their parents' music to find the source of the energy, there's a band like this who actually taps into it and gets them to forget the generation gap for an hour.
Is That the Tralala has that all-good-in-the-hood feeling, as three guys and four gals set out to get hips shaking the old-fashioned way: with no tricks or gimmicks, just local kids having fun. The overriding feel of the album is girl-group pop, but punk energy undercuts any idea that they can't rock out. The opener, "We're Coming Out" starts with a Ramones-esque riff and shouting vocals that takes everything they learned in the '70s and puts in a early rock context. On the flipside, the vocals in the second track, "Yellow Taxi" beg to be taken home instead of out, in a Beatles' "Drive My Car" kind of way. The album's just packed with old school anthems.
The most endearing aspect of the album is the lack of pretension, and each song feels like the group actually time-travelled instead of just making stuff up as they went along in some what-the-hell throwback. "Are You Gonna Dance (With Me)" is fun, punk, and the quick vocals with "woa-oa-oahs" recall some post-sockhop era. There's a lot of similarities between the songs, which indicates both intentional effort and in-the-blood authenticity. They play every note like they mean and want you to get it, no matter how long it takes.
While Is That the Tralala lacks certain depth and intricacy, it contains raw energy and interesting mix of punk and rock from back in the day. With a heavily female panache, the real "girl power" movement that the Spice Girls sold a few years ago actually happens in places and bands like this. In the nitty-gritty, kickin' it however they feel.