New Music Review: The Temper Trap – Conditions

Phar Lap’s Power and Stamina?

The Temper Trap Conditions CD Review by WIllie Matthewson

Have you been looking for a promising band and kick-ass album to carry you into the New Year?  Look no further than The Temper Trap’s Conditions.  If you’re stirred by Keane, The Bravery, or Bloc Party; then Conditions is a must-have.

Each track is solid and immediately appealing.  It is easy to see why Conditions was nominated for Australian Recording Industry Association’s (ARIA) Album of the Year and why the Single “Sweet Disposition” was used on the 500 Days of Summer and One Tree Hill soundtracks.

The production quality of Conditions shows that The Temper Trap has an eye on international stardom.  The performances of Toby Dundas, drummer, and Jonathon Aherne, bassist, are flawlessly and on the mark. Yet the album’s shine and polish is an Achilles’ heel – these guys needed to leave some of the rough edges and blemishes to get some street cred (granted they have been playing together for the past 5 years).  Dougy Mandagi’s brilliant vocals should be allowed to breathe and further compliment Lorenzo Sillitto’s musical landscape.  I mean this guy reminds me of Roland Gif and Thom Yorke, but where’s the character?  Where is the viscus? Tracks like Sweet Disposition evoke comparisons to U2’s Joshua Tree, an album which wouldn’t be the same without Boy or The Unforgettable Fire.

The adhesive on this album is something that is often overlooked – the lyrics. There’s no major revelation in the lyrics, but its not saccharine bubble gum either. Whether enticing a lover “and if you flash your heart/ I won’t deny it/ I promise” in the opener “Love Lost” or exploring self-awareness “someday somehow/ are these hands a waste?” of “Soldier On”, The Temper Trap’s lyrics are accessible.  Be warned though: there is a moment of lyrical weakness at the beginning of Down River (which sounds like TV on the Radio).Tracks such as “Science of Fear” and “Down River” remind the listener that social awareness and music still coexist – “there’s a science to fear/ it plagues my mind/ and it keeps us right here”.

See the newly released video to “Fader” and their live performance of “Sweet Disposition” at the 2009 ARIA awards.


~ by clickdagger on December 19, 2009.

2 Responses to “New Music Review: The Temper Trap – Conditions”

  1. hey, good post and i also like your page design too. Have bookmarked your site and will stop by again

  2. thanks for the feedback! This album is by still tops in my CD queue. Have you had a chance to listen to the whole disc? What do you think?

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