Blitzen Trapper are a rare breed, they are prolific in producing high quality, inventive and catchy songs. Super Furry Animals spring to mind as a band with a similar rate of quality productivity. Following on from 2007's Wild Mountain Nation, there is a more evident influence of American alt-folk and alt-country. This is to be applauded as Eric Earley has penned some of his finest material to date.
This album is consistently brilliant from start to finish, with stand-out tracks being too numerous to mention. My personal favourites include the title-track 'Furr', 'Sleepy time in the western world', 'God + suicide' and the fantastic 'Black River killer', the latter a track that I'm sure Two Gallants wished they had wrote!
If you are a fan of the likes of Fleet Foxes, Grandaddy, Malkmus, Modest Mouse and Throw Me The Statue, you should certainly give this record a listen. If you like it, catch one of Trapper's fantastic live shows and treat yourself to EP3 from the merchandise stand, an EP that contains further cuts of Trapper goodness ('Silver Moon' is amazing!).
A friend included track one from this CD on a compilation they made for me at Christmas. Intrigued, I searched out the album. It's not exactly more of the same, but it's just full of interesting and often great tunes. It's quite a varied album, veering from screamy rock to sublime acoustic stuff such as 'lady on the water' and 'furr'.
I would urge anyone and everyone to give this record a listen. It's truly excellent, I bought copies for three of my friends as presents... they all agreed, it's a grower and real treasure, with both immediate pleasures like Gold For Bread, and other stuff that just creeps up on you after about a hundred plays, and then you realise the gorgeous genius of it.
Furr is a loving waltz through period Americana with Bob Dylan's shadow cast long across the proceedings. The album starts in light pyschedelia, true RnB and organ rhythms, `Sleepytime in the Western World' immediately recalls Manfred Mann's cover of Dylan's own "Quinn The Eskimo". Title track `Furr' is an exemplary drawl through Dylan's laboured vocal strainings and anecdotal, rhyme-heavy folk. It is a tour de force in simple done well.
The charm Blitzen Trapper evoke early in the album shines resplendently at all corner's of `Furr', showcasing toe-tapping, bluesy rhythms, and harmonica-flecked alt.country. This sunny homage to 60s and 70s Americana recalls fellow partisans Wilco and Ben Kweller, though the sound is always truer to the originals. Neil Young is constantly brought to mind, despite newer sounding number that gently alt.rock their harmonies through the speakers as heard on `Gold For Bread' for example, which also hints at Fleetwood Mac's most bluesy output.
`Fire & Fast Bullets' returns to pyschedlia-tinged garage-rock, `Black River Killer' is pensive plucking of the highest order; `Love U' is awash with pleasing harmonies and `Stolen Shoes & A Rifle' is country, lonesome trail kind of stuff, again hinting at Fleetwood Mac, and Midlake for modern comparison.
Blitzen Trapper have achieved the often difficult, producing an eclectic album that is at the same time cohesive. That glue is a love of Americana and its (bluegrass) roots. All that is missing is a fiddled, hoedown finale and for that we cannot really complain, as there is as much art it knowing when to hold off, as there is in knowing when to hit the (effects) pedal to the metal.