Blitzen Trapper: Destroyer of the Void (Sub Pop) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #31 - Spring 2010 - Joanna NewsomBlitzen Trapper

Destroyer of the Void

Sub Pop

Jun 07, 2010 Issue #31 - Spring 2010 - Joanna Newsom Bookmark and Share

Blitzen Trapper emerged from almost reckless eclecticism with an instantly identifiable sound, and here they throw still more ‘70s hallmarks into their heady indie Americana stew. The title track makes it clear that the band have turned up the prog and classic rock knobs this time around (with the Dylan button still activated, of course). It starts with a late-era Fab Four flavoralthough they never would’ve tried to squeeze in so many chords and wordsand by the end it’s like Styx without an editor.

“Laughing Lover” delivers some hooks to make up for it, with its ringing fuzz guitar lead and catchy verse. “Below the Hurricane” comes on soft, Harry Chapin style. It features the fingerpicking and country rock swagger that made the best tunes on Furr the best tunes on Furr. “Love and Hate” throws in some Marc Bolan glam and dinosaur stomp, and “Heaven and Earth” is a beauty, an earnest piano pop tune with string accompaniment.

The second half peters out a bit, with such tunes as “The Man Who Would Speak True.” They’re decent enough songs, but just a little too similar to one another and previous outings. The great things about the group are always therea headphone-friendly variety of tones and textures, super-tight close harmonies, great guitar work and arrangements, lyrics to pick apart for days. But the weaker songs end up in the background, meandering around through too many syllables and never quite focusing on a hook to grab the listener.

When this band is on, though, they are on in a serious way, so inevitably this album will be a lot like Furr for many listeners. It’s a good spin, and while there are definitely a handful of superb tracks you’ll still be rocking two years from now, there are a bunch you won’t. (

Author rating: 6/10

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