Trademark - Raise The Stakes
Bruce Turnbull 02/06/2007
Quite an admirable feat, originality isn't something we come across everyday. Now, young English trio Trademark haven't exactly discovered it either, but they have incredibly cross-pollinated indie and electro-pop to create something reminiscent of 80s stalwarts the Pet Shop Boys. Whether this was intentional or not has to be debated, but at least they have successfully recorded a very decent album that manages to be both quiescent and energetic at the same time.
Opening with a short, sweet brass section in the mould of The Divine Comedy before bursting into the first track proper, “Come To Love”, “Raise the Stakes” does just that; bursting with ingenuity and compelling cunning, flirting with fat, electronic beats and soaring synth passages - at times similar to the Killers in the vocal department, others the droning wails of the aforementioned Divine Comedy. Quite a trip down memory lane for some, from the catchy opener to the light-hearted waltz of “Stuck in a Rut”, which is pure cheddar by today's standards, although I'm sure that was the point. “Three Strikes” is bit more austere, with a thick, coursing bass line and underpinning symphonics heightening the band's dramatic intentions. Complete with an equally retro production approach, “Raise the Stakes” is chock full of interesting sections and unique musical knowledge. With twelve tracks and little variation it is a bit repetitive, but those unafraid to take a trip into the past you never knew, “Raise the Stakes” is the perfect vehicle in which to do so.