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Traindodge: Wolves

Oklahoma City's Traindodge returns with its full-length follow-up to the dual disc The Truth. Rest easy, pilgrim, the band's kept it nice and short this time, offering a solid and diverse 41-minute record that highlights the trio's tight-and-steady blend of metal, progressive and indie, as highlighted on the brawny "You, The Disaster," which showcases some of Jason Smith's best blazing guitar work to date and sees Rob Smith (drums) and Chris Allen (bass) further establishing their reputation as a consummate rhythm section.

Surprises and odd twists do abound. The keyboard-centered "Twice As Lost" recalls Genesis' self-titled 1983 release and the earlier Duke more than virtually anything populating the alternative underground at the moment; quiet, the track feels honest, homespun and shows the emotional depth of Jason Smith's vocal abilities. "Born In The Cold" carries with it deeper pop sensibilities than one might expect from Traindodge and, were it longer, more cognizant of the verse-chorus-verse change-up, it might read as anthemic.

Instead, it and the aforementioned "Twice As Lost" build a bridge between the title track (which at times recalls the sensitive, pastel moments of Rush's Grace Under Pressure with more contemporary around the edges) and the furious, almost Red Hot Chili Peppers-influenced bad boy "Brushing Of The Wings," arguably the most attitudinal of the all the pieces here and decidedly one of the record's best tracks.

There's also time to groove in a fashion akin to peak era Talking Heads and Discipline-era King Crimson during "When Bad Luck Talks," pause for the unexpectedly No Wave-ish "Clean" and then launch into the full frontal lobe assault of "It Always Finds You" and "Rats On Wires."

If it seems to some that Traindodge is moving forward, trying on a different hat here and there, and moving toward something more diverse and forward-thinking, it's because it is and both the band and this album are the better for it.


Track Listing
1. Maze
2. You, The Disaster
3. Twice As Lost
4. Wolves
5. Born In The Cold
6. Brushing Of The Wings
7. When Bad Luck Talks
8. Clean
9. It Always Finds You
10. Rats On Wires

Added: January 2nd 2007
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Score:
Related Link: More Information
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Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Traindodge: Wolves
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-01-02 07:33:41
My Score:

First off, this record fuckin' smokes! I have been a bad boy and skipped over, under and around reviewing this CD. That of course was with me never even listening to a note of the record. Man, am I sorry that I never played this earlier. This CD would have made it on to my Top 10 of 2006, so just go ahead and make a mental note, thanx! Who am I talking about? Well it would be Norman, Oklahoma's own Trainlodge. Caught somewhere between the flat out rocking of NYC's Quicksand and the quirkiness of the great Hum, Traindodge fill a void left from their obvious influences such as Genesis, Fugazi, Tangerine Dream and the Talking Heads.

Wolves (Ascetic Records), is the fourth full length release from Traindodge and they find themselves stripped back down to a 3 piece outfit. And I have to tell you, the 3 piece Traindodge works just fine! Recorded and mixed by the legendary underground talents of Carl Amburn (Mousetrap Studios), Wolves is a clean and tight sonically superb CD. Each instrument literally jump out from the speakers to via for you attention, especially the drums which do remind me a bit of the fantastic tone that the already mentioned legendary Quicksand were always able to achieve. This is truly Indie Rock at its best.

CD opener, "Maze" grabs you with its infectious, pulsating bass line, while the drums smack you across the face. It is inescapable. Prog-Rock fans will dig this track as it shows off Traindodge's ability to construct a song with a complex structure, while still maintaining it's massive rocking nature. "Maze" proves to be a great way to open up this latest offering. Being fans of the Power Prog-Rock '80's, Wolves shows that love with all of its Indie Rock glory. Check out the obvious influence on the eerie song, "Clean". Add in big guitar layering, great ambient flavoring and even a Led Zep rhythm section feel, and Traindodge will also give you a taste of a lot of different flavors while never losing their focus. Wolves just flat out rocks!

Best known for their "Math Rock", complex modern prog-rock, Traindodge do not disappoint with this release. For those that might get bored or lost within all that is going on in the song, Wolves is NOT your typical Prog-rock record. The average listener will be delighted with this much more accessible and catchy record that Traindodge have come up with. Artistic and all the while still complex. The pop sensibilities that are found throughout is so strong that it just can't be denied. Sometimes heavy, sometimes complex, always with an agenda to rock, Traindodge have hit the mark with Wolves.



Do yourself a favor and buy this CD today. It IS that good!




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