Jolly New Songs review – Tiny Mix Tapes
I’m with C these days — vocal-based rock music can pretty much go suck a lemon, because I just have some sort of medulla oblongata–based involuntary function to scratch with non-rock releases. Read: give me experimental or give me death! (Or, uh, at least something better to listen to.)
So why am I writing about a rock band?
Trupa Trupa, or “Corpse Corpse” as translated roughly from the band’s native Polish, don’t really come off as a rock band as such, even though they’ve got the classic four-piece lineup. There’s not a lot of in-your-face bashing or shredding or pogoing or any of that other nonsense that is so passé. (Remember kids, rock is truly dead!) No way, the double Trupas do something that very few men with guitars know how to do: Trupa Trupa creates and sustains an album-length mood.
Surely part of the success comes from singer/guitarist/lyricist Grzegorz Kwiatkowski’s standing as an award-winning poet in his home country. His and fellow lyricist Wojtek Juchniewicz’s ability to combine the mundane and the horrific into a surreal slurry goes a long way toward upsetting the expectations of outlook. Another element is probably the band’s unlikely combination of Godspeed meets The Fire Show. (Do you guys remember The Fire Show? Look ’em up!) These tunes unwind themselves, like slowly uncoiling pythons revealing the suffocated carcass of traditional songcraft, mesmerizing and captivating in their performance.
With Jolly New Songs (Blue Tapes), the title itself a hilarious in-joke among the Corpse Boys (meaning that the songs aren’t exactly jolly, if you get my meaning), Trupa Trupa murder rock ‘n’ roll and unceremoniously dump its corpse in the Gdańsk Bay. Their recorded rituals celebrating its demise are, ahem, music to our very ears.