The Temper Trap – Thick as ThievesCultureMusicAlbum reviews
It would be easy to dismiss The Temper Trap as part of the musical family containing the likes of Muse, Kasabian and a plethora of other forgettable, brawly guitar bands. True, their latest album Thick as Thieves is more likely to inspire pub sing-a-longs than life-altering self-reflection, nor is it likely to revolutionise the face of rock music forever. But perhaps herein lies its appeal.
The opening and title track is an obvious attempt at a stadium anthem, but the honed falsetto vocals harmonise well with the rhythmic guitar riffs and thudding drums. The lyrics are uninspired, but they lodge sneakily in the head; the song, like many on the album, is easily memorable and just as easily forgettable. So Much Sky has a more narrative feel, but the choral “oh-ay-ohs” uselessly littering the melody make an otherwise decent track sound cringingly try-hard.
Alive is a fair stab at a social commentary, even if the lyrics are a bit vague and sound as if they could have been overheard in a sixth-form common room. However, the admirable energy and earnestness sadly neutralises the irony of the refrain “Yeah, feels so good / so good to be alive”. Nevertheless, the slick electronic polish, especially in the instrumental, makes it one of the more noteworthy tracks.
Similarly, What If I’m Wrong is pleasantly moody and pensive, with lyrics appealingly abstract rather than inexpertly impenetrable. Summer’s Almost Gone stands out as a melodic and more subdued effort, and lyrics such as “I realised I missed the moon looking at the stars” are genuinely touching. Here, a lover’s dejection is admirably grasped and conveyed. On the other hand, the blood-curdlingly bland “Lost” details a love so seemingly insipid that the listener may be forgiven for taking a vow of celibacy after the first minute.
Overall, the album gives the impression of teetering on the edge of something rather than actually delivering. Individually, the songs are honed and polished but all together, there is a distinct impression of sameness. The guitar riffs are so remarkably similar, and songs that would otherwise have real substance are so glaringly repetitive and over-produced that it is fair to suggest that listening to the first thirty seconds suffices in giving an overall impression of the album itself. But for a few late-summer shout-alongs…why not?
Thick as Thieves is released on 10th of June 2016, for further information or to order visit here.
Watch the video for Falling Together here: