“The Temper Trap” – The Temper Trap album review

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The Temper Trap is a relatively new Australian band that originated from Melbourne, and is now based in London. Wikipedia calls them an “indie rock” band, which is a term I struggled to grasp. “Indie” is short for “independent”, meaning bands not signed to major record labels. Now the term seems to refer to, as I like to call it, “alternative alternative rock”, as in an alternative to alternative rock, due to the fact that indie rock bands were a “reaction” to the traditional alternative rock movement. More traditional alternative rock bands are more masculine and “macho”, while indie rock tends to be softer. Indie rock is softer alternative rock. Indie rock is still a stupid label I think.

Whoa. Anyway, Temper Trap released their second album this year, entitled The Temper Trap, so I guess they strongly believe this record defines them. I haven’t listened enough to their debut, Conditions, so I can’t make a good comparison between the two albums, but as a fan of the band I think that other fans will enjoy this new release. There are definitely great songs here that we will hear again in the band’s future; however it is an album that requires multiple listens to appreciate.

If Coldplay are the new U2, The Temper Trap could be the new Coldplay. Temper Trap’s breakout hit, “Sweet Disposition”, sounds a lot like U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name”. And the band’s vocalist’s style is similar to Chris Martin’s. Perhaps the touring companies agree, because The Temper Trap is supporting Coldplay on their Australian tour. If you like either of those bands, I think you will like The Temper Trap.

“Need Your Love” is the radio-friendly start to the album that you knew was going to be the single, which was the reason I immediately disregarded this song upon first listen. However, it’s a really enjoyable song and is a great start to the album. “London’s Burning” is about the London riots and features a recorded news broadcast from the event. It makes me wonder if the band has lost their Australian identity, but hey the song is good!

“Trembling Hands” is definitely the stand out from the album. It was a great choice to start the band’s three song set at this year’s AFL Grand Final half-time entertainment. It’s a very touching song, with great musicianship and great vocals.

I had a shaky start with “Miracle”, but that’s because I thought the clicking sounds in the song were my headphones failing. Once I realised my stupid error, I really got into the song. It’s very slow and has a great vocal performance by singer Dougy Mandagi, who wrote all the lyrics on the album.

There is vast array of effects present on this album, such as on the catchy “Where Do We Go From Here”, although there is a mostly acoustic guitar song in the vein of “Rabbit Hole”.

The Temper Trap is on track to become Australia’s next band to make it big overseas. The difficult second album syndrome has been avoided with this new record, and the band can only become bigger from here. This album is definitely a worthy listen for everyone who gives it time, whether you are a dedicated fan or never heard of The Temper Trap before.

Rating: 3.5/5.

Oh, but I must say I was disappointed with the CD album that I bought. The artwork looks great, the CD looks great, but the booklet just contains recolours of the album cover! Where are my lyrics?!

 

1. Need Your Love
2. London s Burning
3. Trembling Hands
4. The Sea Is Calling
5. Miracle
6. This Isn t Happiness
7. Where Do We Go From Here
8. Never Again
9. Dreams
10. Rabbit Hole
11. I m Gonna Wait
12. Leaving Heartbreak Hotel

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