Sunday, February 1, 2009

Truth is Truth ~ Blitzen Trapper - Furr

Blitzen Trapper: Furr
TP Minnick

This year, Sub Pop is really milking this Americana revival for all it’s worth. Blitzen Trapper bring their fourth full-length, Furr, straight from the wilderness of Portland, Oregon. This folk-rock release immediately caught my attention because it provides the cohesion that the erratic mishmash Wild Mountain Nation could not. The sextet crafts muscular southern rock riffs and harmonious melodies into a relaxing and passionate album. Furr is fast paced and unified, and I have not taken it out of rotation in several weeks.

“Sleepytime in the Western World” and “Gold for Bread” get the album started with twangy guitars and catchy lyrics. Eric Earley makes songwriting seem too easy. Some of the standout tracks tend to be the stripped back and emotional “Furr” and “Not Your Lover”. It feels like something Neil Young would have put out two decades ago. Lyrics shine on the drawling, honeyed pedal-steel showcase “Stolen Shoes & a Rifle” and make it a must to sing along. Beautiful electric keyboard graces the acoustic melodies on “Black River Killer”. I shake with goose bumps at the rebel yell that begins the spastic “Love U”. A lot of growth is shown from their previous album. Blitzen Trapper show their new and tighter sound on the pumping song “War On Machines”. The album and the reoccurring them of nature come to a powerful conclusion with the stunning “Lady on the Water”. With a much more consistent and powerful album this year, Blitzen Trapper have joined Sub Pop records with a more driven effort… and well, a better budget too.

I recently bought this album from the drummer after seeing them at the Pageant. The punching Dylan-esque harmonica and tight sound made for a great opening gig that had me constantly moving. Blitzen Trapper crafted a set that captured the same rootsy wilderness beauty of Furr.

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