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Blitzen Trapper

blitz

VII

Vagrant/Shock Records

 

Blitzen Trapper are one of the many bands from the creative hotbed of Portland Oregon, yet differ in their delivery as a predominantly country/folk band even if they are more experimental than many in the genre. VII shows how the band have snuck up on us with the amount of releases that they have churned out in their decade of existence.

Blitzen Trapper signal their intention to shake perceptions as VII opens with some discordant sounds and what sounds like a DJ ‘scratching’. They are sounds that are at odds with the tried and true of Blitzen Trapper, but it is a momentary distraction as Feel The Chill delves back into the familiar territory of their rootsy barroom blues. Shine On continues on in the same vein so much so that it could almost be the same song.

The strength of the band has always been in the inviting rasp of Eric Earley but this trait is lost when he tries to convey too many ideas in the one album. A particularly forgettable moment is on the faux rap of Oregon Geography which struggles to reach the heights of being a third-rate Beck rip off. Luckily there are a few moments like the infectious Drive On Up and the acoustic toe tapper, Don’t Be A Stranger, and offer some redemption.

On VII it appears that in an effort to stand out from the crowd, Blitzen Trapper have turned in an effort that is even more insincere than Mumford & Sons.

 

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

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