Headache review – Central and Eastern European London Review
Trupa Trupa are a four-piece band from Gdansk, who sing throughout in English. Headache – their third album – was recorded in Gdansk in 2014.
Their style is deliberately repetitive, stark and uncommercial. Track titles such as ‘The Sky is Falling’, ‘Getting Older’, ‘Headache’ and ‘Wasteland’ are examples of the sombre flavour of this album – ‘Wasteland’ particularly, with its refrain ‘Wasteland…in my heart, Wasteland…all I see, Wasteland Wasteland all I see…’ For some this nihilism might be a turnoff, but sticking with the album you find yourself won over. It’s territory previously explored by German chanteuse Nico and the second track ”Halleyesonme’ begins with a haunting keyboard and an almost spoken vocal that could have been sung by her. There’s no variation in tempo, and only a slight key change: it sounds like a litany.
Other tracks have a much more varied structure and explore feelings of despair and anger. ‘Getting Older’ has some nice showery cymbal-work with simple strummed guitar and touches of organ – about halfway through a powerful guitar ramps the whole thing up majestically before the drums and keyboards bring it to a powerful climax: a track reminiscent of Wire’s excellent 1979 album 154. ‘The title song Headache’ (at over nine minutes) is not for the faint-hearted. It begins with a simple repetitive guitar hook, banks of vocals and a simple snare beat and this continues relentlessly for over three minutes before the vocals get screechier and the cymbals come in for a minute or so. Then it ebbs and flows till the vocals drop out and multiple guitar-lines take over. The whole thing gradually quietens down to one guitar and ends like a heart stopping. It’s not for the faint-hearted, sure – but it’s a powerful track – one of many – on an equally hard-hitting album.