BLITZEN TRAPPER play Sonic Boom and the Opera House on October 30. See listing. Rating: NN
Some time after their breakout 2007 album, Wild Mountain Nation, caught the attention of venerable indie label Sub Pop, Blitzen Trapper seem to have lost their ambition. They’ve always displayed a reverence for the 70s Americana of classic rock radio, but that used to be tempered by touches of prog, noise and slacker folk. The eclectic approach was often messy but also fresh, which can’t be said for their middling sixth LP.
Eric Earley has an undeniable knack for writing a solid roots-rock shuffler, but if you want to listen to cabin-bred, denim-washed rustic rock, there are plenty of other places to get it (many on the classic rock dial itself). Blitzen Trapper can write three-pronged guitar attacks and down-home harmonies by the dozens, but they have a weakness for road-weary clichés and rote retreads. What happened to the band that penned a touching ballad about a man turning into a werewolf?
Top track: Astronaut