Pullin' 'Tubes | Blitzen Trapper Turns VII

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]

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