The Temper Trap/Conditions

The Temper Trap is an alternative rock band from Melbourne, Australia noted for its atmospheric sound, featuring grand guitars set to pulsating rhythms.[1] The band is signed to Infectious Records worldwide, except for Australia and the United States. In Australia, the group is signed to Michael Gudinski‘s label Liberation Music, and in the United States it is signed to Glassnote Records

The band finished recording their debut album, Conditions, with veteran music producer Jim Abbiss in March of 2009 in London, after 4 weeks recording the bulk of the album in Melbourne in late 2008.[4] Mandagi said his key influences when recording Conditions included Radiohead, Prince, Massive Attack and U2.[5] The album was released in Australia on 19 June 2009, and debuted at #9 on the Australian ARIA Charts. It was released in the UK on 10 August, 2009. [Wikipedia]

Love Lost—-The track begins in a most sedate manner…once the vocal enters the scene, the song takes on an even more Radiohead tone. As the music opens up, the track becomes much shinier and polished. The vocal stretches and you are filled with anticipation as you become more curious as to what the rest of the journey will be like…you will not be disappointed. This is bright, shimmering and wonderful.

Sweet Disposition—-From the onset, the song leans to U2, Radiohead and a great throwback feel of the 80’s. This song, beginning rather sedate, grows into a huge track. The chorus is so damn catchy you can not ignore the melancholy and the remarkable contrast of the music set to that feel. This is superb…sorry I waited so long to get this!!!

Fader—-With an exquisite organ introduction, the vocal enters and is at a more acceptable lower range that still conveys urgency and emotion. the chorus opens up and becomes a band effort that literally shimmers through your headphones. this is a nice mix of Alternative Rock, shiny 80’s pop and 100% pure pleasure. Not to be missed if even just for the chorus.

Rest—-This track comes across as rather odd to me…the vocal seems to be trying to impersonate numerous people all on one track and the attempt falls flat. The best thing about this track for me are the drums and the end…sorry.

Down River—-Beginning with a nice gentle guitar and an upfront drum track, the vocal enters and it is a welcome return to the shimmering and emotional delivery of earlier tracks. This is atmospheric, the vocal comes in and out of focus in a masterful way. This is sometimes hard to believe this is a debut release, obviously the band has played together for a long time. The gentle insertion of horns top off the song with mastery and pleasure. I love this.

Soldier On—-Nicely acoustic at the onset, the intro to the song sets the mood for the Yorke styled vocal. The lyrics are powerful and manage to paint a picture right before your eyes. The mood of the track is so somber and serious, you find yourself easily drifting into that daydream state..thinking about things better left alone. This is fantastic.

Fools—-With an almost jazzy feel, the track ushers in the by now familiar vocal [at times, on this track, I think of Barry Gibb!!!!]. The musical landscape is almost so down tempo that you could call it ambient. The tale is intense and the emotions pour through the headphones. This is freakin WONDERFUL!!!

Resurrection—-A tad bit tooooo mellow, the song takes a bit to get started in full fashion. The vocal is so high I now think of the Scissor Sisters!!! If the music had some booming bass in the backdrop there would be little difference…but you see, that is the beauty of this band…wearing many personas while creating their own sound. This is not a favorite, but not a throwaway by any means. The song does open up, musically. towards the end and serves as a…well…Resurrection.

Science Of Fear—-This is pure pop mastery. The music works in perfect tandem with the vocal and again, paints a wonderful picture through your eyes. Reminding me more and more of the under appreciated bands of the 80’s, this is a bit of everything all mashed into one song…the amazing thing is how well the entire thing works. I love this!!

Drum Song—-Aptly named, the onset of this song is drums, drums and drums. The guitar intermixed with the kick bass and the song has a huge and fun feel. This is a nice end to the release which is rather somber at times. A nice showcase for a really talented bunch of guys. Really, one of the best tracks on the release. NICE!!!

**** out of 5


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