Sweet Disposition

Happy Spring everyone!  At least here, it feels like it has finally arrived…actually it has skipped to summer and we have 90 degree heat, but whatever.  There’s something very seasonal about music, and I’m looking forward to what spring and summer will bring this year.  But more on that later.  Right now, I’m listening to an album that came out in October.  I know, I know, a little late, but to be fair, The Temper Trap makes beautiful music and they deserve a good review.  Also to be fair, I don’t know that I am often on time.  You should be used to it by now.  This review was supposed to be finished last week before I went to Florida…oops.

Anyone who is up on Australia’s latest big talents, Diet Coke commercials, or the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack will recognize the hypnotic, electric “Sweet Disposition”.  My husband has been listening to this track on repeat for awhile now, and it’s about time we check out the album Conditions as a whole.  The craftsmen of this lovely track are Australia’s indie pride, The Temper Trap, loosely termed as an alternative indie rock band among the ranks of Bloc Party, MGMT, or even (well, I don’t know) the Gorillaz.  Whatever, I like the Gorillaz.

If you pop in Conditions expecting to find 9 more versions of “Sweet Disposition,” I can’t promise that you’ll find what you’re looking for.  Sure, most tracks share the same moody electricity and soaring vocals…Dougie Mandagi possesses an incredible range and sweeeeeet falsetto (the opposite of Andy Bernard, Office fans).  Somehow, though, each track surprises me–I didn’t expect the bizarre paradox of awesome album structure as a whole–really, everything fits!– and such difference in song style.  Tracks like “Love Lost” and “Resurrection” mix 70’s funk with modern layers, guitar riffs, and builds.  I hear classic rock influences in “Fader” and “Science of Fear,” and maybe some Brit-rock influence in “Down River.”  “Soldier On,” like “Sweet Disposition” sets itself apart from the rest of the album, but because of its more haunting, acoustic sound, which doesn’t phase into the Temper Trap’s classic layered, harmonic sound until the very end.  Lyrically, I have less of an idea of what’s going on.  Maybe I’m spacey or just stupid, but I think Conditions is a nice thinking album, and I’ve been satisfied to do just that while I listen, rather than picking for all the lyrics.  Sorry.  I know they are there for a reason!  Anyway, overall, this album is completely worth a purchase for reasons other than the lovely “Sweet Disposition.”  I’m really most impressed that I can use the phrase “the Temper Trap’s classic sound.”  I do believe that they’ve done a spectacular  job introducing themselves with Conditions, giving us an idea of all they have to offer, and a creating a sound that is indeed their very own, no imitation.  We’re ready for more!


It’s UK Day at FAIBW!

Hello, everyone!  Please forgive us for not covering Follow An Indie Band Wednesday (FAIBW…fyi) last week!!  We are eternally apologetic.  Tonight will not disappoint because tonight I noticed that many of the best from FAIBW are from the United Kingdom and I am thereby declaring today UK Day at FAIBW.  Do I have the authority for that?  Well…yes.

We Were Promised Jetpacks hails from Glasgow, Scotland.  I had never heard them before tonight and I’m ready to purchase everything they’ve got out.  Too bad I am poor.  Anyway, We Were Promised Jetpacks can be described as tight alternative indie, with driving guitar and cathartic build.  I’m  in love with the listening experience here…the intense amalgamation of talent and passion.  Between the four songs on their myspace page, I can’t pick one favorite–everything they’ve got is so completely together, and their hearts are completely in it.  They strike the glorious balance between power and fragility, something that doesn’t always fall into place with other bands.  Also, Eric and I decidedly love Scottish accents, although he will be less than thrilled that these are boy accents and not girl ones.

My next UK favorite of the day is Dinosaur Pile-Up.  These alternative indie Brits have not let me down except in picking a weird band name (boys are weird).  They have especially not let me down in their attractive myspace profile picture–it is QUITE sexy.  But seriously…I was going to say that Dinosaur Pile-Up is pretty similar to We Were Promised Jetpacks in its drive, but their heavier guitars and darker vocals really make that a stretch, so I won’t say it.  They’re more grunge than melodramatic, but they’re absolutely adorable nonetheless.  And very rock’n’roll.  Also, I really want one of those cool tshirts.   White, size small, please.  Who is going to make that happen?  They’re so rock’n’roll!!  And maybe some Clash-inspired lyrics?  Did I make that up?

Finally, in keeping with tonight’s trend of inexplicable band names, United Kingdom origins, and a more alternative vibe than you usually get from Miss Indie Folk (that’s my new nickname, btw), here is Scientist The Orange Pip!  Actually, Scientist The Orange Pip is, while still alternative  indie, not too far from crossing border into emo, but their innovative sound and rhythmic play prevents them from getting there and emotionally convinces me, which is something most emo (read: Dashboard Confessional) fails to do.  However, if you have emo leanings, this may be your thing.  The changes in “Lupitas Observation” rival The Format’s ability to brilliantly cater to ADHD listeners, so obviously I recommend it, and “Proof of Propensity” has a great sound as well, a bit different from their other songs.  I think my favorite thing about these guys, though, is their background vox.  Is that weird?  They’re fun, biotches.  So, button up those skinny jeans, smudge that eyeliner, and freaking check it out.

Thanks The_Recommender, Miss_Cain, and NatGuy for winning suggestions this week.  Thanks to the UK for producing such fabulous music.  See ya next week for Follow An Indie Band Wednesday!  (Unless of course something cooler comes up, in which case you should be here anyway, shouldn’t you?)