Three Trapped Tigers
1st April 2016 – Superball Music
01. Silent Earthling
08. Rainbow Road
Three Trapper Tigers are one of those rare bands whose sound is almost entirely their own; a signature as rare and valuable as that of James Dean’s. With the compositional complexity of math rock, the atmospheric nous of post-rock, and the sheer sense of fun you get from playing with electronic elements, the London trio are effortlessly distinguishable thanks to the absolute individuality of their music.
Their last record, debut LP Route One Or Die, was released a distant half decade ago, and so the prospect of the five years-worth of tinkering they’ve put into new offering Silent Earthling was incredibly tantalising – and it hasn’t half paid off. Bar the extremely talented Adam Betts’ insanely tight drums, recorded in the studio, everything else was laid down in guitarist Matt Calvert’s own home, and with a raft of production credits under his belt since the band’s last album, he has developed a skill set capable of making this record purr more satisfyingly than the band’s eponymous big cats.
It lays the foundation for some astonishingly intricate, layered songs. All pleasingly running for within thirty seconds either side of the five-minute mark, the variety of style, tempo and general tone is marked; sounding like the soundtrack to an unreleased 80s sci-fi movie – those futuristic synths playing off a sense of dystopian intrigue – you can be tangled in the many suckling tentacles of “Kraken” (a writhing beast of a track the absolute equal of its title), winging above a neon-drenched cityscape with “Blimp“, or racing along with the breakneck “Rainbow Road” all within the space of Silent Earthling‘s meaty, yet not over-long run-time.
It’s interesting that no particular track stands out more than another; Silent Earthling is, if nothing else, notably consistent in quality throughout. Such is the diversity, distinctiveness and caliber of production that each song unfolds with a unique identity, but sits comfortably with its cohorts to form a cohesive unit: a unit that fires barrage after barrage of pinpoint laser-fire in your direction like the jumpsuited goons of some oppressive futuristic police force. Ouch.
As detailed as Silent Earthling is, there’s a palpable sense that there is even more to come from Three Trapped Tigers. It’s an expansive record, but also tightly focused and sonically coherent – and one hell of a good time; Silent Earthling is fun music for serious people. They’ll hopefully get a lot of mileage out of this record, but theirs is a palette with which they can make a lot of big, noisy messes in the future; cornered kitties they ain’t. Here’s hoping they get the recognition they so richly deserve.