Three Trapped Tigers - Route One Or Die
The three talented individuals that comprise Three Trapped Tigers are here to well and truly bring back the ‘power’ in power-trio. Ever since the band released their first numerically-titled EP and hit the live circuit with their visceral performances, they have steadily and surely honed their sound, taking in prog, electronica and metal amongst other disparate styles. Route One Or Die sees them pushing forward and improving even more, in what may well be your new favourite album.
What is immediate on both this album and their live shows is the percussive skills of drummer Adam Betts, whose ear for intricate and technical beats is evident on opening track ‘Cramm’. Exuding power and musicianship but with a punk-rock attitude, his rhythmic backbone is the perfect foil to the synth wizardry of Tom Rogerson and juddering guitars of Matt Calvert. Pummelling industrial clangs and swiftly weaving melodies give way to keyboard twinkle and ambience in a track that prepares the listener well for what is yet to come. ‘Creepies’ does exactly what it says on the tin, melding a dark electronic ambience with evil screeches and stuttering distortion that comes across both aggressive and destructive.
‘Ulnastricter’ starts off a duo of songs in the middle of the album which take a more spacious and synthesized approach. Starting off with an ominous ambience and jumping, digital percussion the band then build layers of ascending electronic soundscapes before the familiar frantic chaos takes over again. ‘Zil’ provides more of a chance for a little breather, with some sparse and beautiful piano from Rogerson and various other weird and wonderful noises finding their way into the mix. A stab of feedback signals the onslaught of ‘Drebin’ swiftly after however, with the guitars and synths running rings round each other amid a flurry schizophrenic drums.
With the dense and exciting closing track ‘Reset’ comes a brilliant summation of what makes Three Trapped Tigers so exciting, swimming in a sea of mangled and experimental sounds but injected with a wonderful sense of melody and heaviness that grabs the listener and never lets go. Route One Or Die is an example of a modern day band being truly progressive, and it’s sure as hell a thrill.