REVIEW: BLITZEN TRAPPER – FURR

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furr

The 2007 release (Wild Mountain Nation) from this Portland band was a woolly affair that contained a wide range of stylistics influences and directions.  It is no surprise that this new record follows the same recipe but this time using fresher and better quality ingredients.

Eric Earley has created a fantastical world of kids raised by wolves (Furr), killers plying their trade in the expectation of redemption (Black River Killer) and living the illusion of love (Not Your Lover).  His recurring themes of trains, dust, rivers and moons are the main lyrical links to the the americana comparisons that are so often levelled at Blitzen Trapper but the sense of the album really seems to be about finding oneself, discovery and escaping from something, whether it is day to day life (Saturday Night) or a relationship (the Neil Young tinged Not Your Lover).

Musically, Blitzen Trapper bring all the toys to the party.  Their style is a type of glam americana.  It has it’s roots in storytelling and acoustic instrumentation but they constantly play with the form and add in Roxy Music style vamps and pop sensibilities in the rhythms and bounce of some of the tracks. Love U starts with a Vince Neil style croon before crashing into a spiralling distorted clatter of drums and wonky guitars while War on Machines comes across like Marc Bolan fronting Sloan.  Stolen Echoes + A Rifle could have been lifted from a Drive By Truckers record.

A pastiche of pop, country and art rock it may be but the essence still remains with the melodies, both musical and lyrical that make this a winner for summer days and long drives…

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