With their debut album ‘Route One Or Die’, Three Trapped Tigers ascended to the very top in their scene of Leftfield British rock bands. A sea of spiky, restless synth work and drums to thrash around to, the album teamed intricacy and brute force perfectly.
‘Silent Earthling’ leans towards the brutal end of the band’s repertoire, with chunky riffs replacing the more sprawling synth lines seen on ‘Route One…’. In Adam Betts, the band possess one of the very best drummers in the UK, and his skin-pummelling is best shown on ‘Kraken’, a hammerblow of a track that holds the album together with a vice-like grip.
‘Blimp’ takes a rest from the mind-melting riffs, and its use of quieter tones shows a new side to Three Trapped Tigers, one which is welcome in an album with a limited amount of up and down. The only other major deviation comes in the intro of ‘Tekkers’, which unexpectedly takes the band’s future-rock back to a decidedly ’80s sound.
When ‘Silent Earthling’ goes big, on ‘Rainbow Road’, it hits harder and feels bigger and brighter than anything on ‘Route One Or Die’, and when ‘Kraken’ takes things heavier, it’s the most brutal the band have ever sounded. The five years of touring their debut and working with Brian Eno and members of Underworld has taken Three Trapped Tigers to the extremes of their capabilities, with no room for restriction or restraint.
‘Silent Earthling’ is far from an reinvention: it’s simply Three Trapped Tigers adapting and tinkering with everything that made ‘Route One Or Die’ such an exciting debut, to end up here with a leaner, more focused, brilliant second album.