Thursday, November 6, 2008

Blitzen Trapper - Furr


“Southern-laced indie rock from a band from Portland???”

Blitzen Trapper have once again released another dynamite album. Last year’s Wild Mountain Nation was highly praised and their latest Furr picks off right were the group left off. Furr, takes everything that was great with their previous effort and improves upon it. This album is a lot tighter and fuller sounding. The song structures for the most part are of your basic verse-chorus variety. Wild Mountain Nation was a lot noisier and the songs were disparate from each other. Furr takes the album as a whole piece of work not just singles.

The opening track “Sleepytime in the Western World” propels you right into the overall sound of the album with a heavy church organ southern kind of feel to it. The way the songs are sung combined with the lead singer’s actual voice get in your brain and don’t escape. The third song and the title track of the album is a wonderful tune about a boy who wanders into a forest and comes across a wolfpack and joins them and slowly turns into his lupine brethren only to be pulled back to his human form by a woman. Your basic metaphor for not fitting in to the real world but having to grow up anyway in it.
The strongest track on this album to me is a song entitled, “The Black River Killer,” tells the story from the perspective of a serial killer and his struggle with heaven and his murders. You will be singing this song after only a few listens with it’s strong hook and it’s morose but compelling lyrics (see Sufjan Steven’s “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”). Just when you thought you have the sound of the album down Blitzen Trapper hits you with the gutteral yell of the track “Love U,” which opens with “I love you baby like a thief love money/like a wheel got a roll/like my shoe got sole.” “Love U” takes you through the singer’s torment over a woman and how you would actually yell and scream these lyrics if singing to her.

Start to finish, top to bottom, Furr has it all. Thirteen tracks in right under 40 minutes means there is no filler only meat. The brevity of the album is also it’s greatest ally. You never get stuck in the middle or feel the album drags on. Blitzen Trapper’s Furr is immediate purchase worthy. Don’t pass this one by. Go out, pick it up, put it on, turn it up, and enjoy!

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