Three Trapped Tigers - EP3

Tiffany Daniels 06/06/2010

Rating: 2.5/5

I'm unsure what I can say about Three Trapped Tigers that's not been said before. A considerable amount of underground attention accompanied the band into the tail end of 2009, but the mounting hype failed to set their material on fire in 2010, as had been predicted. The exact reason for this lack of lust remains unclear, but a good guess would be a disinterest on the behalf of mainstream media, and as this EP suggests, a lack of progression in their music.

Following in the footsteps of Yorkshire troupe Forward, Russia!, the London based trio have taken to naming their releases and songs after the chronological number that they occupy. All fine and dandy for EP's 1 through to 3, but as those prior to TTT have discovered, the plan can hit a stumbling block when it comes to the inevitable release of an album - to continue the theme of numbers, despite the garbled album track-list it entails, or to rid of the systematic production that launched their music? What TTT will do in the future is anyone's guess - for now they seem content to release without qualm this, their EP3, featuring tracks 10 through to 13.

In short, as exhilarating as the first few chords of “10” are, come the penultimate “12” I find myself wondering whether there's anything to this band that has not already been showcased. Crammed full of thundering riffs, experimental buzz and frantic percussion, all of the songs on the EP dive into the noise pot and out again into soothing electro arms; all careful duplicate the steps taken (and bettered) by Battles and F*ck Buttons; all sound rather similar; and all leave the listener wanting.

To add insult to injury, the more I research the band, the more disillusioned I become. Named after a novel by Cabrera Infante, they look to a very particular niche for inspiration, and consequently their potential fanbase is so small it's obscure. I've had arguments with friends over this genre before - instrumental: no, with inaudible lyrics: yes. Wailing, squeaking and screaming is brilliant, so long as the musician(s) in question are capable of holding down a solid tune; when it comes to 'just rocking out' or simply making noise 'as a capsule of emotion', the music becomes contrived and unnecessarily difficult - it's as though the majority like it for like's sake.

To put a stop to my slightly insulting ramble - I can appreciate that TTT are talented musicians and capable of great things, but to me this EP and those before them sound as though the band are mucking around in the recording room, looking for the right sample to insert into [song name here]. Not my forte, I'm afraid: I just don't get how it's anything other than incomplete.