Headache Review – Louder Than War
Gdansk, Poland band Trupa Trupa are a mixture of Krautrock, shoegaze, and psychedelia, and their new album is released via Blue Tapes and available on all formats including limited number tapes and frost-clear heavyweight vinyl. Below Philip Neeson gets a wee bit excited.
Now, this is just what the doctor ordered. Listening to this new release on the wholesomely DIY ‘sound art and strange objects’ Blue Tapes label it occurred to me how we’re a bit short on these sort of bands at the minute. That is positively leftfield and lopsided, yet oddly warm and genuinely good ol’ indie-rock. Much of said genre has gone a little too much down the conventional, meat-and-two-veg road lately I feel.
Trupa Trupa hail from Gdansk and have been described as everything from ‘sludgy growlers’ to ‘noir-fi’. To me, the closest thing to match their ideal– at least currently– would probably be the new Spectres album ‘Dying’, which is out on Sonic Cathedral and a review of which can be got here. Things are not totally similar of course but both records do share a certain circler motion, mild experimentia, and a trippy psych-gaze darkness.
‘Headache’ is a record I quite enjoyed as it wandered and rolled and crunched and surprised along its curious 50-odd minute, eleven-track roller-coaster.
The almost nauseous but somehow alluring slow-climber ‘Getting Older’ could be described as the album’s unlikely centre-point; “get married married married married/getting older/we search we search we search we search/we’re getting older” goes the half sung/half spoken… I suppose… chorus, somewhat blankly interpreting the conventions of life, as the song builds into a Swans-like grinding rock opera of confined darkness.
The scanty, horizontal ‘Unbelievable’ (not a cover of an EMF hit, alas) is one of the tracks– there’s at least another– where the band have a go at a love song. Here- like so much of the record– the sounds and droplets of hard-to-quantify ounces of feedback and unidentified noise/foundsounds is what keeps things curious, interesting, approved of. This one recalls mid period Pavement, while the broodier ‘Wasteland’ is full of unforseen lefthand turns, crunching guitar shards, and a general feel of a less pompous Muse as though, well, stuck in a wasteland.
On ‘Headache’ Trupa Trupa achieve their aims throughout. They can’t play, but at the same time they most certainly can play. Vocals are not so much sung as they are a sort of afterthought. They’re modest yet confident, hopeless yet not without hope.