6/10 Mike Staff review, 22 September 2011
Blitzen Trapper are one of those bands who've kind of been bubbling under for years now, bringing out progressively more accomplished '70s style rock albums to not an awful lot of attention. This is their sixth album, and third with Sub Pop, and it's a very slick affair. It totally recalls late '60s/early '70s American rock in its pre-punk heyday when it wasn't unusual for every member a band to be genuinely skilled on their instrument of choice. In all honesty I'm a bit burned out on this latest crop of true blue redemptive country rock type bands and in places this record really does stumble into that territory and goes a bit Eaglesy for my taste, but in their rockier jams the riffs bring to mind Blue Cheer's dirty blues swagger in a sometimes cheesy but still satisfying way. I think what saves this album for me is that it just sounds like a joyous tribute to a massively fertile era in rock's history without any real efforts to imprint their own personalities too strongly on it or turn it into an update of the classic sounds, but ultimately that lack of personality is kind of this album's downfall too, and when they take things down a notch on the likes of My Home Town or Girl In A Coat things turns flaccid and saccharine fast. The production has a really lush early '70s feel to it which is impressive but overall the feel I get from this album is that it's not easy to recreate the effortless-sounding virtuosity of that era and maintain an identity that still feels like your own.
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