Three Trapped Tigers - 7/1
Kyle Ellison 09/07/2009
The latest British band to be dropped into the folder marked 'Battles-esque' is Three Trapped Tigers, whose new AA side single 7 and 1 is a raucous concoction of hard hitting electronics and traditional live instruments. It's a promising follow up to the band's 2008 EP, and despite being a little rough around the edges seems to push all the right buttons. Well, most of them anyway.
Opening track, 7, is the more unrelenting of the two, opening with distant guitar sounds before bursting into life with giant blasts of punchy synth. The band certainly wears their influences on their sleeve, as the likes of Errors, Pivot and the aforementioned Battles immediately spring to mind. This is no bad thing. However, while the bands mixture between electronics and conventional rock instruments is done well in places, the transitions between the two sounds can be harsh on the ear. Additionally, as the track hits its climax some rather cheap phaser sound effects stick out somewhat and almost undervalue the rest of the song. It's a shame that the electronics could not have been used more tastefully on this occasion, as what had been a decent song ends up sounding faux-futuristic and tacky.
The second track, however, is a much more accomplished effort. Here the band shows off their taste for melody, and there are even significant hooks to be found amongst the surrounding chaos. While the transitions between phases could still be gentler, the track's second half is a smooth and elegant build up towards a scintillating climax. Here the band display the kind of musical maturity that had been lacking in the previous track and it seems to make all the difference. The glorious synth hook which dominates the song is for the first time complimented perfectly by some frenetic yet inventive drumming. Indeed, as the human and robotic elements of Three Trapped Tigers become one, we hear the band at their exhilarating best.