Early Adopter

Written by: PP on 11/12/2010 04:43:57

It started out so well for Traktor in 2006 when they released their underground cult EP "Lights", a faithful and convincing rendition of the raw emotion and passionate fury of the original screamo scene from the 90s. It was a chaotic record that flourished through it's confined intensity and emotionally charged soundscape consisting mostly of off-tune notes and throat-piercing screaming, depicting Traktor as a similar kind of band to someone like The Chariot live, ready to destroy, rip apart, and tear down everything that can be torn down in a live environment. Since then, the band has gradually mellowed down their sound, scratched out the screaming part in favour of some Drive Like Jehu styled semi-clean wails almost entirely, and focused on ripping off the foundations of Refused in every possible avenue, something that I already suspected on their previous album "Sequence The Sequence", but is further developed here, on their new album, "Early Adopter".

The ingredients of "Early Adopter" are simple enough. Straight forward melody and conventional songwriting are frowned upon, and Refused's rebellious "The Shape Of Punk To Come" attitude is relished instead. The majority of guitar riffs specialize in the off-tune department, producing odd sounds that range from annoyingly high-pitch notes to opposite-to-standard sequences in terms of scales and so forth. While this approach worked out brilliantly for At The Drive-In, who have almost certainly been a big inspiration to Traktor, the same idea here does, if not the opposite, then at least fails to live up to its full potential. It's difficult to point out exactly why, but I suspect it has a whole lot to do with the fact that whilst trying to re-live the passion and the spirit that Refused portrayed throughout their short career, Traktor have forgotten to focus their writing process on writing energetic, high-intensity songs that force the listener to take note of them as a serious contender within the original screamo genre. Here, they are falling within the realm of experimental post-hardcore - it's just pushing the envelope too much for my liking.

Don't get me wrong though. There are plenty of good songs on the record, including the politically charged opener "Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right", the melodic "Where Water Goes" (that was also on their EP earlier this year), and "We Are Not Scientists, Just Ungodly Men" with its twangy off-tune guitars. But not enough to warrant a rating any higher than the one I'm about to give. Re-introduce some of the intense screaming and Traktor's song would gain a whole another energy to them, I'm certain of that.


Download: Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right, Where Water Goes
For the fans of: Refused, JR Ewing, Drive Like Jehu, Hitch, At The Drive-In
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.11.2010
Atlas Records

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