Written by: BV on 14/07/2013 21:58:56

The quintet from Reading known as Tripwires seems to follow in the jangly footsteps of 90’s-laden shoegaze, neo-psych and occasionally wanders into the not so unfamiliar brit-pop territory. The sound of their debut-album “Spacehopper” is often grandiose, melancholic, slightly up-beat but most of all jangling as hell and a stark contrast to anything one might know of minimalist soundscapes.

On album opener “Spacehopper”, the fade-ins of shimmering guitars and the slow but steady pulse of the drumbeat leads my mind in the direction of neo-shoegazers The Road to Suicide who’s slowly driven, yet vast soundscapes aren’t really that unfamiliar when compared to Tripwires. As the track picks up the pace and the vocals make an entrance the track is instantly recognizable after a mere 3 or 4 listens and it would seem it is one of those tracks that tend to stick to mind for quite a while. As the distorted chorus enters, it would seem that Tripwires are fond of the old and tried quiet verse / loud chorus formula, yet it never really sounds dated nor predictable due to the sheer intensity of this vast amassing of eerie sounds, distorted guitars and pulsating drum beats.

As we enter “Catherine, I Feel Sick” the tempo is rather to the slow side and the track itself is quite melancholic. The low-key and rather eerie vocal melody is in itself quite haunting, but the spacious and airy guitar sounds also contribute vastly to maintaining the melancholic wave that seems to sweep through the entire track, effectively managing to affect me greatly while listening – a rare feat indeed. The slow tempo has its downside though, as I can imagine that those who might not feel affected by the mood in the same way as I, would more often than not come to feel that this track is a massive downer that essentially just adds to an already impressive list of medium-to-low tempo songs that have a slightly melancholic feel to them.

To those people, I’m quite ecstatic to report that the track “Tin Foil Skin”, an energetic and fast-paced shoegaze-rocker, is placed conveniently near the end of the album to shake some life into an otherwise quite melancholic journey through a massive soundscape. As the ‘hook’ of “Tin Foil Skin” makes its entry I am seriously convinced that this track, this mighty fine track indeed, could have been a radio-hit of sorts had it not been for its nearly tedious runtime of roughly 8 minutes – far more than the modern radio-listeners attention-span can handle. As such, I myself actually feel slightly challenged by the track because of the relatively predictable and fast pace of the track – I lack change and more dynamic shifts in tempo, despite the fact that the track has a dramatic shift in both form and melody somewhere in the middle of things.

In short, I quite like Tripwires and I feel like they have a massive potential to utilize on coming releases. This one isn’t too bad in itself, but it does lack more attention-demanding tracks in place of some of the more anonymous trips through the depths of melancholy.

Download: Tin Foil Skin, Spacehopper, Under a Gelatine Moon
For The Fans Of: The Road to Suicide, Spacemen 3, Sulk

Release Date 17.06.2013
Frenchkiss Records

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