Tuesday, July 2, 2013

REVIEW: Tripwires - Spacehopper

One of the first things one notices about Spacehopper, the debut LP from Reading, UK's Tripwires is wide array of textures presented in the course of its eleven tracks.  A listener inclined to play "spot the genre will find bits of psychedelia, grunge, '90s Britpop, some arena guitar hero, dreampop, and a lot of shoegaze. But the constants are melody, driving guitars and a confident aim at creating music in a wide scale.  Moreover, and perhaps as a consequence of the band's six years honing their sound, styles and influences are so adroitly blended together that it all remains unmistakably a product of Tripwires.

The album begins with the cinematic title track, featuring a soft/loud dynamic that evolves to power chords over a throbbing rhythm section. "Plastecene" keeps things moving with distorted guitars and anguished vocals.  "Feedback Loop" relaxes the pace a bit (but only a bit) before the showcase tune "Shimmer".

The remaining tracks of Spacehopper include dense shoegaze anthems and slower paced dreampop songs.  But the attention to detail and carefully constructed sonic layers remains consistent to the final note.  It is a very satisfying listen, and a remarkable debut album.


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