For Fans Of
Dreamy and atmospheric, The Temper Trap’s debut album is at first, quite difficult to connect with. Packed full of suspenseful delays and gentle hooks, each track seems to mirror each other until vocalist Dougy Mandagi mesmerizes you with a hauntingly familiar voice. Opening track ‘Love Lost’ is a tender welcome to the album, the guitars and drums also sounding familiar yet somewhat completely different to anything you have heard before.
Created with the help of UK producer Jim Abbiss (UNKLE, Arctic Monkeys), Conditions is almost a hybrid of the sound both listed bands create – moody and electronic, but still alternatively popular music. When you start to question whether the album is a little over-rated, single ‘Sweet Disposition’ breaks through and dismisses any doubt.
One listen to Mandagi’s haunting vocals combined with Lorenzo Sillitto’s chiming guitar riffs and it’s easy to see why this song won them an audience both here and in the United Kingdom. However, the heightened mood experienced during ‘Sweet Disposition’ is temporarily dampened during the experimental tracks ‘Down River’ and ‘Solider On’; the latter’s melody reminding me of something you would hear on Led Zeppelin’s III album. ‘Fader’ thankfully re-ignites the pop ballad sound of the album, uniting a catchy chorus with attractive drum and bass loops.
But it is the heaviest contender on the album, ‘Science of Fear’, that is the most enjoyable. Breaking Mandagi’s vocals away from over-used falsettos, this track comes at a time when the listener is dying for aural refreshment. The internationally popular single is the most dynamic and painless song Conditions has to offer, and a reminder that The Temper Trap is a vibrant and creative force to watch out for.
Taking London and beyond by storm, it will be interesting to see what these Melbournites have to offer in the future.
A strong effort for their first release, Conditions offers some bombshells in the form of modern indie music.