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Tripwires - Spacehopper (Album Review)

Friday, 05 July 2013 Written by Emma Dodds

Sometimes a debut album can be so good that no subsequent record will ever live up to it, and sometimes they fall just a bit short. On their first full-length, Spacehopper, Tripwires land somewhere in the middle.

The band has spent the last six years “refining their sound” and wrote the album in Reading, their hometown and an inspiration of sorts. “A lot of people live here a couple years for work and then move on,” they said. “For us, it’s been a great place to write music. Not as a direct result of the environment around us, but in a way that’s encouraged us to provide our very own soundtrack to growing up." 

The record’s title track is a fine intro and recalls Kosheen, who enjoyed a time in the sun a decade ago, while Rhys Edwards’ nasal vocals manage to keep the listener onside. The rich, full-bodied Plasticine follows with a couple of nods to Oasis’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory in its pacing.

Feedback Loop of Laughter has a clever verse but is let down by its chorus, which is flat at first and overcrowded on its second airing. Luckily, Shimmer is a seriously good song. It’s definitely a good summer tune and comes across like a heavier Coldplay on ‘X&Y’.

Love Me Sinister begins with heavy distortion in an empty shell, which does indeed give a sinister effect. It’s very Radiohead, with shades of Athlete and early Muse, and you can stick Paint on your “Summer Barbecue In My Back Garden” playlist, it’s just that kind of song.

Catherine, I Feel Sick has another majestic verse but a disappointing chorus, which feels like something of a cop out. It could have been great, but perhaps the band needs to grow into those grand moments that appear to be around the corner. As for Wisdom Teeth, it’s not an enjoyable experience, with some sloppy drums creeping in. But then, when has anyone ever enjoyed wisdom teeth?

‘Spacehopper’ will go down really well on summery days, it's perfect for lounging about with music on in the background. But it could have been much more - it's safe to say that this band aren’t done, their work isn’t finished. They’ve got something to work towards, and it could be pretty special.


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