One gets the sense that, although Trapper take the quality of their music very seriously, Emm, Sean, Tim and Frank are doing it for the pure enjoyment. They must be! Trapper is a top-notch band honouring their 80s roots by writing that kind of catchy rock song with singalong hooks. Each track on their brand new cassette EP, Songs From the Electric North (limited to just 50 copies!) sounds assembled with great care, and genuine zeal.
Fear not if you missed out on the cassette, for you can download the EP on your iTunes!
Songs From the Electric North consists of four originals and two covers. The covers, “Illégal” by Corbeau and “Bye bye mon cowboy” by Mitsou, were previously reviewed here so you can check that out if you want to know more about those two excellent tracks. In particular, we praised “Illégal” for a beautifully chunky riff that Sean Kelly captured with a nice crunchy guitar tone. We also singled out Emm Gryner’s lead vocal, with depth, grit, power — the whole package. This is the first physical release for these tracks.
The four originals vary in flavour, so picking favourites will also widely vary from person to person. On side A, “Winterlong” opens, hitting the ears on a nice tense Sean Kelly riff with a Campbell-era Dio feeling. This track has it all, from the powerhouse vocals to thundering drums n’ bass. “Winterlong” also boasts a lyrical guitar solo, carefully composed and executed. This track is a rocker! Heavy as metal, yet sweet as saccharine at the same time.
Power ballad territory ahead! Perhaps “Almost Forever” is in the vein of ‘87-era Whitesnake or albums of that direction? Whatever your inkling, “Almost Forever” is memorable, and done to perfection. It’s a hard sound to get just right. The keyboards and especially Emm’s melody put it exactly in the right ballpark. A winning song, that you will be coming back to again and again when you want a new ballad with that nostalgic feeling that sends you back in time.
Opening side B, “You Need An Angel” has a nice chunky rock groove. Here Kelly reminds me at times of Ratt’s Warren DeMartini in tone and feel. Another fabulous classic rock composition, laden with hooks and punchy drums. And completely different in direction from the other tunes.
The last of the originals is the pounding metal of “New Year’s Day”. This track has an epic quality, harder to describe, except to say it’s different again from the previous songs! Solid riff/groove combo, with Emm delivering a vocal that just divebombs you with hooks from the sky! How’s that for a description? Just listen to it.
I’m very grateful to score one of the 50 copies of this tape. To give you an idea of demand, Trapper’s first cassette “Grand Bender” / “The Warrior” was limited to 100 copies and never turns up for sale. Their CD EP, Go For the Heart, runs about a hundred bucks total with shipping these days. I should know, because I bought the last one!
You can get your copy on iTunes, so head on over and get rocked by the Songs From the Electric North.