Nutshell Album Review: The Temper Trap – The Temper Trap

Despite the blatant lack of creativity in the naming of this album (isn’t your FIRST album supposed to be the self titled one?), The Temper Trap’s sophomore effort is worth noting. They came back with something fresh and new, while still being noticeable as that little known quartet from back in 2009. When I say new, is that the opinion of someone who never moved passed the “Sweet Disposition” bandwagon? Maybe. Is it the opinion of someone who never really got a taste of Conditions, even three years after the fact? That’s unimportant. What is important is that the now FIVE piece band (after the official addition of Joseph Greer) comes back with a powerful-sounding second album that proves they can do more than “Sweet Disposition”. In fact, they kick that idea in the teeth and say “So long!” to those hoping for more high harmonies and delay effects.

The album starts with “Need Your Love”, which has gotten radio airplay everywhere INCLUDING under a rock. But it’s well deserved, and The Temper Trap could not have picked a better single to lead this album past the success of Conditions. After that is “London’s Burning”, a song chock full of British people in distress, Black Keys style guitar riffs, and Dougy Mandagi screaming his
head off backed by four more yelling musicians. Oh and is that a bass wobble? It is. It is a bass wobble. Then comes “Trembling Hands” to show that Mandagi still has his golden pipes and that the band can still sound heavenly. This song can’t be described any way except for beautiful. This continues through “The Sea Is Calling”, which may or may not be about Mandagi’s feelings on the band’s home country, and “Miracle”, a song complete with a lot of keyboard and fantastic harmonies. But they’re low harmonies, so I stand by what I said earlier. “This Isn’t Happiness” takes us back to the teeth kicking with a powerful bass line, fast drum beats, and even a wah pedal. “Where Do We Go From Here” brings back the fun synth bass we heard earlier in the album, and brings a sound to the table you could easily attribute to Young The Giant. “Never Again” and “Dreams” continue the sounds established early in the album, but keep it on the mellow side. “Rabbit Hole” breaks out the acoustic guitar and shows of Mandagi’s vocal skills once again, along with the strength of Toby Dundas’ bass drum foot. Halfway through the song explodes with a raw power never seen from them before. The album closes out on a more relaxing note with “I’m Gonna Wait” and the piano influenced “Leaving Heartbreak Hotel”. But don’t worry my friends, the album’s finale hits all aspects of The Temper Trap right on the head. Really a great jumping off point for another new album.

The Temper Trap are no strangers to knowing what it feels like to make it big with your first album. They’re also no strangers to knowing what it feels like to be pressured to produce a second album that is even better. They blew that idea right out of the water, and they’ll have fun trying to put something together that’s better than this. 91/100, and it’s available now.

The Temper Trap Tracklisting:

  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

Posted on June 15, 2012, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: