Blitzen Trapper – [Album]

Monday, 07 June 2010

Anyone with a snse of history knows that the Sixties were a tumultuous time in American history. With the war going on in Vietnam and shady dealings taking place in every corridor of the White House, the world suddenly didn't feel like such a safe place anymore, and the artistic community caught onto that sense. Bands and musicians began to chronicle their interpretations and feelings on this suddenly unsafe and unjust world they were living in and, because recording techniques and technology were evolving and growing to a new maturation, music began to evolve radically too. The new techniques and ideas available for musicians to help present their art ended up representing an artistic folk in the road; while some bands ran with this new freedom, others ran away from it and presented their work bare and unadorned – it was a unique time.

It was a unique time that many artistswho would come later would try to replicate with wholly mixed results. In the decades since the Sixties, bands have offered every manner of interpretation on the folk movements made by Bob Dylan and Neil Young or tuned in, turned on and dropped out just like Hendrix, the 13th Floor Elevators or Jefferson Airplane did, or gotten huge and orchestral like The Beatles did, or concocted some mawkish representation that's supposed to convey some sense of irony. In either case, something has always been missing from the records working toward a similar end; the bands trying it now already know what they're doing will work because it did once already and that knowledge throws the whole thing off.

It's a rare thing to find something that sounds even close to the Sixties anymore, but Blitzen Trapper has it nailed – whether that was their intention or not; what the band presents on Destroyer Of The Void from the beginning of the title track which opens the record is a relaxed sound that is warm and free. That's the missing ingredient that so many other bands have overlooked.

A little clarification is probably in order. Is Blitzen Trapper actively trying  convey a sense of relaxation and freedom? Probably not – it's just what comes naturally for the band, so that's what they're presenting and that laid-back ease with which the band comes on is the familiar part. In the lackadaisical but enormous guitar timbres of songs like “Love And Hate” or the stoic acoustic balladry of “The Man Who Would Speak True” or the sort of white boy sidewalk soul of “Dragon's Song” and the bombastic, Beatles-esque pop of “Lover Leave Me Drowning,” Blitzen Trapper successfully covers every corner of Sixties orthodoxy and, not only that, manages to do it with a consistent voice; as far flung as the angles from which the band approaches Destroyer Of The Void, it still sounds like the same band doing it. It's actually really cool to hear a band collect and unify so many disparate sources as they do here.

Needless to say, Destroyer Of The Void is a success and such success will leave listeners anxious to see what Blitzen Trapper does next. The collection of voices on this album is a captivating one  and becomes pretty interesting as it progresses and listeners discover how well they fit together. That said, what the band has done on Destroyer Of The Void doesn't need further refinement, so the field is left wide open for future releases. What will they do next? Go in another direction or tow the same line? Either way, if they can do it as well as they've done here, Blitzen Trapper will find a very large bodyof fans as disparate in background as these dozen songs are waiting excitedly to find out.



Blitzen Trapper – “Dragon's Song” – Destroyer Of The Void

Blitzen Trapper – “Heaven And Earth” – special online-release demo


Destroyers Of The Void
comes out on June 8, 2010. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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