During the mid part of the '00s, the Pacific Northwest was responsible for churning out
some of the most buzzed about bands around. It seemed like every music website was touting
the latest act out of Seattle or Portland, and for good reason. These bands were helping
to redefine the sound of modern-Americana, mixing folk and country sounds with indie-rock.
Amongst the bumper crop of bands to emerge from that time was Blitzen Trapper, who
had just released their third studio album, and Sub Pop debut, Wild Mountain
Nation. Described as “Grateful Dead meets Pavement,” by former NPR Music scribe Carrie
Brownstein, the band at the time was mixing the seemingly disparate sounds of ‘90s
slacker-rock with psychedelic country-rock.
With a brief and very forgettable foray into folk-prog with 2010’s Destroyer Of The
Void, the five-piece band has continued to develop their own version of what Gram
Parsons called Cosmic American Music, though this one is steeped in the dank weirdness
that the Pacific Northwest climates seem to conjure. Earlier this week Blitzen Trapper
released their seventh studio effort, with the aptly titled VII. The twelve-track
effort is filled with their brand of backwoods-indie-psychedelia that they’ve dubbed
“Rocky Mountain Whoop-ass," thanks to its mix of jangly guitars, beefy organ, plunking
banjo and harmonica and plenty of weird blips and beeps.
This time around the band also hearkened back to another icon of the ‘90s alt-rock scene
as midway through the record they unleashed a string of lo-fi blues songs that seem to
have been heavily influenced by Beck’s 1994 breakthrough album Mellow Gold. Let’s
check out this live performance of the track "Thirsty Man" that the band turned in for
their hometown radio station KINK…
Blitzen Trapper are in the middle of a North American tour, which brings them to Brooklyn,
NY tonight for a gig at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Written By: Jeffrey Greenblatt
[Published on: 10/3/13]