The Temper Trap - album review
- By Ismail Mulla -
- May 30, 2012
When The Temper Trap originally registered on the mainstream music radar in 2009 with 'Conditions', they were the loveable, dependable and unassuming rockers from Australia. They weren’t the type to come down a zip wire whilst wearing a leotard and caressing a python, during live shows. But they would entertain. A bit like Wigan in the Premier League they were everyone’s favourite second team but also had developed a solid loyal following, especially beyond these borders.
But a lot has happened since their last album, the world has changed and The Temper Trap’s second outing signals a shift by the boys from down under. This self-titled second album kicks off with lead single ‘Need Your Love’ a barnstorming, swashbuckling, bone grinding number that starts off with crunching synths, signalling a touch of Depeche Mode. Off the bat The Temper Trap signal that no longer are they going to be content with being the favoured second team, no more mid-table they have their eyes on Europe.
They waste no time mucking around though as the boys go straight in with the ace in the pack that is ‘London’s Burning’. I once had a conversation with a few friends about what the soundtrack to accompany the recent London riots would be further down the line; there were some amusing suggestions such as Katy Perry, Girls Aloud and The Saturdays. But The Temper Trap may well have just provided the answer. Granted 'London Calling' it is not and David Cameron may not have been the best choice to provide commentary.
The second single from the album is ‘Trembling Hands’, which is an unfortunate number that veers into hokey territory that would make Chris Martin squirm. In fact the rest of the album is up and down. On certain tracks such as ‘Miracle’ you get a really good build with faint Balearic inflections, but the slow build is rewarded with a cheap pay off.
There is a Kraftwerk inspired tinny synth driven sound on ‘Never Again’ and on a couple of other tracks you could be forgiven for asking whether it’s a B-side that has fallen off the White Lies’ 'Rituals'. Indeed on ‘Dreams’ Dougy Mandagi goes into Harry McVeigh vocal mode with a dark low tone. There is a nice parting gift and return to form in ‘Leaving The Heartbreak Hotel’, which is a slower number but wouldn’t feel out of place on Conditions.
The band couldn’t have picked a better time to release this album, with the nation bathed in sunshine. But unfortunately unlike the recent heat wave this album doesn’t really glow. Instead it’s like the typical British weather, predictably patchy. After a promising start like a bottle of fizzy beverage The Temper Trap falls flat. Still not enough to confine them to relegation and Championship status, but they must do better if they wish to keep their Premier League status.
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