Review: The Temper Trap – The Temper Trap
Published on May 30th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
The Australian Coldplay return with their follow-up to 2009 debut Conditions, sounding at once like a marginally rockier Savage Garden and a band who will enjoy unimaginable success because of it.
Is this emo? Whatever it is, it’s big, washy, overly earnest and relentlessly, infuriatingly tonal, seemingly allergic to any kind of imaginative songwriting and as such indistinguishable from their legions of equally dull soundalikes. Think a less memorable Killers, just to round off the hat-trick of unenviable reference points.
At least the nadir arrives early – “London’s Burning” is not the Clash song it might think it is, aligning itself rather closer to Hard-Fi (and it’s four!) with its snatches of news reports and lyrics such as “Now who’s the one to blame when the children go insane? / Dancing on their broken dreams”. Look out, everyone – The Temper Trap have looked at the world around them and they don’t like what they see! What will they denounce next?
As if this clunky dredging up of last summer’s riots wasn’t bad enough to finish the album there and then, we are then exposed to the facepalm emoting of “Trembling Hands”, where Dougy Mandagi intones “I’m on my own / Throw me a line” and, somewhere, JD and Elliot gaze longingly out of rain-spattered windows. Then there’s the downright offensive indulgence of rhetorical questions inflicted by “Where Do We Go From Here” (no question mark), where music as a whole, everyone and everything to do with it, does well to survive choking on its own vomit at the line “how do I know what’s real?”. As the title of another track puts it, “This Isn’t Happiness”.
“Rabbit Hole” features a Bee Gees falsetto that straddles the line between endearing and painful, while “I’m Gonna Wait” makes nice use of fluttery violin and unsettling sound effects, but all in all The Temper Trap are about as necessary a presence as Robbie Savage on Match of the Day – and, if you happen not to follow the English Premier League, that is deeply, deeply unnecessary.
Expect this to sell by the bucketload, then.
Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!
The Temper Trap is out now on Infectious. For more information, including a list of live dates, please visit thetempertrap.com