Indie rockers The Tripdown Project released their first album earlier in 2014 and their muddy guitars and jangly organs flow and freefall back and forth between mid 90’s grunge rock to early 70’s Brit Rock and back again.
Opener “My Condition” sets up the mood with strong power hooks at the end of four chord patterns whilst a wall of voice sings at you in a Beatles-gonna-shout kind of way. The bassist is so fluid in his underpinning that it allows the rest of the instruments to blur into each other be it an electric guitar solo or the cymbals and organs clashing over themselves slightly. It sets you up for “Bodyhammer” which is more raucous and reminds me of b-side Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots at their best. The simple but catchy guitar chugs that burst into a cinematic chorus. It’s one of my favourites on the album and captures a fun and off kilter rock marriage of bands that I wished could have happened for real. “Hiding From My Past” then takes from the Pilots in many ways as rolling guitar riffs just keep on churning as the psychedelic chorus slides down through the chords at a smooth pace. There’s a little Lenny Kavitz funk thrown in the background too. “The Great Kill” infuses old Beatles styled acoustic rock with the grungy sway of the 90’s for the most radio friendly track on the album so far. Its got a very catchy chorus and a real power behind its guitar pace. “Drop Down” too has a real edge to it that distinguishes between those bands that do and don’t have a real presence and sound to their music.
“Consider It Done” shifts to a more dramatic soundscape. There’s more synth work in the background of the track and the drums have more rolls and flips. “Chain Gang” was not a song that initially grabbed me but it’s because the second half of the song flowed so much better than the strained first half for me. The Tripdown Project works best when it’s ripping all the riffs and power chords in a quirky way and so when it goes into a more traditional rock mode, it loses a little of its shine. “Heavy Motion” returns to the chord heavy track with motorbike rock twists on same notes as it Lone Ranger’s itself. “Shimmer” continues the gradual shift towards the 60’s/70’s riff rock as does “Nothing But Envy” as things get more jangly and pub like. Whilst these songs are fine, I preferred the more ramshackle addition of the 90’s grungy elements – but these tracks are still good – they just lack a very unique identity. The closer “Combat Nation” does return to those roots though and that rounds off the album brilliantly.
The Tripdown Project are an interesting band. They have a great sound which mashes decades of rock together and deliver it in a frantic and energetic way. There’s no time to think, grab a riff and rock it out. We all need music like that.