Tram - A Kind Of Closure
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Tram
A Kind Of Closure

Like Low, Tram take their time in getting places. Creating music that usually moves along at a rather unhurried pace, they instead focus on creating subtle, beautiful instrumentation as a backdrop for their intimate lyrics. Also like Low (and other consistently great 'slow' bands like the now-defunct Bedhead), Tram create consistently excellent music. Both their debut album Heavy Black Frame and the follow-up Frequently Asked Questions never really derivated from their defined musical path, but neither of them really had any weak spots either.

For a group that once admitted they were playing a show so quiet that they couldn't even hear themselves, the group actually gets a bit louder on this outing and the dymanics make for an even more exciting listen. "Three Days" opens the album, and although it starts with a lovely piano/strings combo, it builds into a nice crescendo of a chorus, in which lead singer Paul Anderson gives one of his best vocal performances to date. "Forlorn Labour" again shows the group working subtle strings into the track, and although it covers some of the same weepy relationship territory that's been covered so many times by so many groups already, the track is surefire breakup mix material.

The group leads off the title track of "A Kind Of Closure" with some electric guitar, and even though it's quiet to begin with, it has an edge that foreshadows the downright rollicking build. Weaving through vibraphone and string passages, the track takes its time in getting to the payoff, but once it bursts with horns and amped guitars, its easy to hear that the group can rock out quite well if they want to (with their roots as a pop-punk band showing through).

Although the second half of the album isn't quite as strong as the beginning (the two-minute "Theme" just sort of lingers like filler), there are some great moments that help buoy things. The sparser-than-sparse "You Let Me Down" is about as straightforward as they come, while the long "The Hope Has Been Taken Away" shows off a variety of interesting instrumentation. If you're a fan of the group, you're probably not going to go wrong with this release, as they keep on doing what they've been doing for the most part. If you're a fan of slow, subtle music, you could also certainly do a lot worse.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00