TRAAMS - Grin

A journey through abrupt and aggravated, rib-rattling post-punk.

Label: FatCat

Rating: 8

When visualising the kind of music that would stem from the sleepy cathedral city of Chichester, languid folky vocals and swaying acoustic guitars spring to mind. It may well be the kind of place where amps and reverb are quite literally unheard of. Cue the debut album from West Sussex outfit TRAAMS – a journey through abrupt and aggravated, rib-rattling post-punk.
 
Following on from their ‘Ladders’ EP released this June, ‘Grin’ is the debut full-length from the cacophonous krautrock trio. Produced by the prolific Rory Attwell and infamous MJ from Hookworms, ‘Grin’ has spectacularly encompassed all of TRAAMS’ infectious feral energy, brooding aggression and penchant for relentless rhythms; perfecting and condensing them into this captivating 45-minute package.
 
Opener ‘Swimming Pool’ rumbles along on its distorted bassline until frontman Stu Hopkins’ distant yelp cuts in and it all fades out to a whooping melancholic drift. Which blends into ‘Demons’. This is where things really get started; the half-melodic whine, the fuzzy distorted bass and sporadic riff sit perfectly next to latest release ‘Flowers’ - another gruff, punky venture with a tinge of poppiness apparent in that chorus – no doubt the anthem of the album.
 
The seven-minute ‘Head Roll’ isn’t as angry or erratic as any Parquet Courts track although the restless motorik rhythm conveys a familiar sense of urgency, splaying out into an expansive percussion solo before diving into the unashamedly brash, almost shouty ‘Fibbist’ with its Yuck-esque screaming guitars, infectious refrain and rumbling breakdown which makes for yet another album highlight.
 
Ironically, closing track ‘Klaus’ happens to be the first track the trio uploaded to Soundcloud over a year ago, however it hasn’t lost any of its initial gusto; echoey whines and eerie guitar twangs are plentiful, with billowing reverb overtaking towards the finale.
 
From start to finish, from raucous to melodic, from abrupt to expansive, TRAAMS prove themselves to have created a masterpiece of contrasting tone and aesthetic. “I don’t even know your number / and you don’t even know my name’ sings Hopkins on ‘Flowers’ - even if they are from a city where the most riveting activities are walking, cycling and Cathedral visiting, it’s our bet that soon TRAAMS’ name will be a go-to for 21st century post-punk jubilance.