Is Chichester the new home of 1960’s experimental German genre Krautrock? The sleepy Sussex city doesn’t quite have the same musical pedigree as Berlin but Traams, who recently released their debut album ‘Grin’ via Fat Cat Records, are about to revolutionise their music scene, shaking the county to its very core.
Through their mutual detest for the uninspiring music scene that they were surrounded by Traams vocalist Stu Hopkins started a club night, where he’d go on to meet his future band members, bassist Leigh Padley and drummer Adam Stock, quoted recently Padley said: “We had to start a band. It was all we had.”
Hopkins’ club night would play new-wave records and experimental artists to try and accommodate the city’s need for an alternative music scene. It was this era of music that inspired the trio, resulting in a sound set between Krautrock and the self-described “skewed pop”. The sheer frustration towards their surroundings resonate deep within their sound, culminating in a terrific debut album of cathartic release.
Grin was recorded throughout 2012 and 2013 with producers MJ and Rory Atwell from Hookworms. The album opens with ‘swimming pool’, consisting of a ferociously intricate drum pattern. With this, the raw crudeness of the guitar cuts through with Hopkins’ vocals, reminiscent of Warsaw, Joy Division’s first album.
As the record progresses however, the likes of ‘Demons’, and ‘Flowers’ influence the album, taking on a whole new dynamic which develops into an increasingly raw/ grunge sound. The changes throughout the record are increasingly welcomed, every track is a symphony of candid lead guitar and bass riffs, anthem-like vocals and complex drum patterns. The vocals are something of a wonder, bridging the gap between Leigh Padley and Adam Scott’s ferocity on drums. Throughout the album, Traams cement themselves as incredibly talented musicians, they’re tighter than a ducks arse on a cold morning.
The band, now releasing albums with Brighton based Fat Cat Records, follow a long line of well respected artists including Sigur Ros and Animal Collective. The prestige of their label seems to have enabled them to achieve increasing success in the industry, having already shared stages with the likes of Parquet Courts and FIDLAR.
Their newfound success is something that the band could have only dreamt of in their humdrum upbringing in Chichester. However, from the uninspiring isolation of their hometown also comes the band’s experimental originality, the album is a fresh and welcome addition to Fat Cat’s portfolio, and to the music industry as a whole.