Trabant - Moment Of Truth
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Trabant
Moment Of Truth

Just when you thought that no more bands could pour off the small Atlantic island of Iceland, you were wrong. With the huge flux of music coming off the island, it seems like nearly everyone that lives there is either a fisherman or a musician at this point. Sharing members with the ragtag country band The Funerals (who released their album Pathetic Me recently), Trabant is just about as far opposite as you could get from that group on the musical map. Imagine a group that mixes part Daft Punk, part Beach Boys, part Air, and a bit of The Beta Band for good measure. Basically, the group plays super synth-heavy electronic space rock, if you can dig it.

When I say keyboard-heavy, I mean "ass dragging on the ground" heavy, and that can be heard on the gurgling, low end of the opening track "Enter Spacebar." The first single off the release, the track starts out with some bouncing sonar pings before a rumbling, butt-moving keyboard melody enters the song alongside squiggling electronics and layers of vocodored vocals that don't really seem to be saying anything in particular. "Org Org" follows it up with more vintage synths and keyboard sounds, and it comes across like a happy-go-lucky spy themesong with dark Rhodes melodies offset by cheesy synths.

The album titled "Moment Of Truth" again takes on a cinematic feel with epic swells of synths and rumbling low-end programming (and more wacky nonsensical vocals) while "Bluesbreaker" flops into one of the most poppy tracks on the album. One of the damn songs of the summer in my book. The 15 track album is littered with different genres, despite having the same sort of overall feel. "Bahama Banana" begins with an odd buzzing but soon a future-pop track which literally sounds like a Beach Boys track updated for the new millenium (even yoinking a touch of a vocal melody from the group at one point). "Lady Elephant" rumbles all over the place with a bottom-end guaranteed to blow speakers while a lazy horn bit and vocals float over chirping electronics and a dancy beat that pops in and out of the mix.

Even the cover art featuring people in bad 80's outfits (including pastel sweaters tied around the neck and waist!) clumsily pasted onto a photo of a generic club dancefloor screams that this group isn't about to take themselves too seriously anytime soon. "Hi-Tec Hurricane" magically evokes the title by deftly mixing everything from piano and guitar solos with a frenzy of keyboards and rumbling, mutated two-step beats. Stirring rock, jazz, electronic, techno, and pop into one big steaming batch of seriously off-kilter fun is basically what Trabant is about, and they've done a damn fine job of it with Moment Of Truth. They've taken what artists like the aforementioned Air and Daft Punk started and moved it to some logical, but somewhat skewered next level (and managed to shake off pretenses and up the fun factor in the process). If you were letdown by either of the above groups last albums (as I was) or just want to hear something fun for the summertime, seek no further.

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