Oregonian sextet Blitzen Trapper isn’t afraid to dream big.
They made a name for themselves with their last two albums by throwing a mess of elements into the mix with wild abandon: Americana lyrics, spaced-out synths, snarly riffs. With this follow-up to 2008’s Furr
, they’re at it again with pristine harmonies set to late-60’s psychedelic scuzz. The result is another opus-de-Americana washed in experimental folk-rock—a zealous, if unfocused, tale of back-road pain and otherworldly redemption. The six-minute title track (an epic that frontman Eric Earley has described as “three or four different songs melded together”) slithers between tempos, harmonies and chord progressions as though the group had just lifted the needle on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “The Man Who Would Speak True,” meanwhile, relies on acoustic vibrations, Cash-like storytelling simplicity and rusty harmonica. Blitzen Trapper’s world is certainly chaotic; thankfully, the cacophony of heavenly choruses and gorgeous melodies finds its own voice amidst their experimentations.