Led by drummer Gary Parra (Cartoon,PFS) this trio brings to the table a mixed bag of influences, although RIO seems to be the main genre explored. A revolving door of bass players, including such notables as Enrique Hardines ( Absolute Zero) and Mike Sary ( French TV) , along with an assortment of other guests on various wind instruments help round out the sound that is distinctly Trap
The disc opens with promise. Emancipation From The Musical Box and the whimsically entitled U B 6 I B 9 ( note the track length) are a couple of short tracks which whet our appetites. This leads us to Presage, which may be the disc's finest hour. Complex rhythms, odd time signatures,and superb musicianship throughout have us believing that we've uncovered a perle rare from 2001. If only all the tracks on the disc had this much going on .Unfortunately, the disc takes a turn in a different direction. From the improvisations of Mandolsim vs The Wrong Of Winter through to Trapcoat Cutlery, we're presented an odd assortment of tunes with more misses than hits. Tunnels, Traps, Landmines actually has voice narration detailing the exploits of dogs during WWII, over a raucous musical background. It's one of those tracks where you chuckle with the first listen, shake your head with the second, and skip over on subsequent plays. Uncle Trap-A-Billy Ripe N' Wild is more successful in the humour department. It's a semi-acoustic down-home, pickin an' a-grinnin' , hoedown number.It's followed by the slightly midieval flavored, harmonics driven Enharmonic Convergence which is actually a pleasant little song. The Middle-Eastern Argonaut , and drum dominated Hainan Drum can easily be skipped over. The RIO mode is reinstated with Trapcoat Cutlery, however,with little fanfare. Finally, the title track returns us to the promise of the opening 3 numbers.A mixture of all the band's influences converge in a coherant and interesting mixture, with superb guitar by Chris Smith as well as a plethora of wind instruments and percussives as most special guests make an appearance.The track covers alot of territory. If only the entire disc had been this strong.
I have to mention the final track seperately, 'cause well...it did manage to make me laugh out loud. T-Rap Par-T is a hysterical, satirical romp. A fat ( or is that phat ?) n' funky bass line lays down the groove for a falsetto vocal line couterpointing a smooth debonair R and B voice in a mockery of those '70's soul tracks. This segues into a series of sound bites featuring a few current and not so current pop stars. Hysterical.
Too many misses and too few hits leave me feeling ambivalent towards this disc. My excitement quickly evaporated after track 3 and only returned by track 11. My personal belief is that this would have made an excellent EP, but makes a mediocre full length disc. I hope they return to the fold with a more focused assault because there is plenty of talent in this band, though they only showed us brief glimpses of it with this outing.
- Emancipation from The Musical Box ( 2:20)
- U B 6 I B 9 ( 0:69)
- Presage ( 6:37)
- Mandolsim vs The Wrong Of Winter (3:18)
- Tunnels, Traps, Landmines ( 5:52)
- Uncle Trap-A-Billy Ripe N' Wild ( 1:49)
- Enharmonic Convergence ( 2:12)
- Argonaut ( 4:08)
- Hainan Drum ( 2:54)
- Trapcoat Cutlery ( 3:55)
- Insurrection ( 9:54)
- Mystery Track- T-Rap Par-T (2:36)