TRAAMS: Modern Dancing

Connor McDonnell reviews the latest album from TRAAMS

Connor McDonnell
14th December 2015

Modern Dancing is the second album by TRAAMS to be produced by Hookworm’s Matthew Johnson (known as MJ), the first being their debut Grin (2013). TRAAMS’ bassist Leigh Padley called their second album experience with MJ ‘great’ and said that this one is ‘generally a more positive record’ but there is a promise that there’s some ‘fucking angry’ tracks on this post-punk LP. 

The album is undeniably driven by Fugazi-fuzz that lines the trio’s musical consciousness. ‘Cosner’ boots the album in to life with a dizzily sluiced bassline muddled and a shrieking guitar that singer/guitarist Stuart Hopkins lets ring. After a bold bass outro, the song sneaks in to ‘AB’, with the opening lyrics ‘Tell me, tell me / what’s your dance?’ The guitar riffs start as white-noise distortion, before hardening themselves, towards the end, as flesh busting progressions.

There is a menacing that lurks beneath Modern Dancing, but once it reveals itself it becomes amiable

‘Succulent Thunder Anthem’ follows, with frantic, hyperactive instrumentation. On ‘Silver Lining’ Hopkins provides vocals to match Padley’s bass. This pairing of vocals matching instrumentation is strangely unheard in contemporary guitar music, a trope that many presumed was dead. ‘Silver Lining’ is a pristinely produced track – rapt by the darkness of industrial rock, and later exposes itself in a vicious flurry.

There is a menacing that lurks beneath Modern Dancing, but once it reveals itself it becomes amiable. ‘Modern Dancing’ self-reflexively smirks at you (‘I see you dancing / I know you can’t help it’) while bobbing away itself.

TRAAMS bleed the confidence of American bands such as Parquet Courts and Thee Oh Sees, even as relatively new-comers. The Chichester trio are competitors among the top-names.   

Connor McDonnell



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