Trailer Trash Tracys - Ester

by Steve Rhodes Rating:7.5 Release Date:2012-01-09

With a name like Trailer Trash Tracys, you'd probably expect a band obsessed with 60s garage and John Waters or Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! However, this London-based four-piece, signed to Domino Records' off-shoot Double Six, aim their sounds towards the stars or at least David Lynch.

'Rolling', is a bonkers, Zappa-obsessive opener, with a distant la-la vocal buried under cosmic squelches. A messy sci-fi opening that could grace an Ed Wood film, which though interesting would have been hard work for an entire album. 'You Wish You Were Red', though, is more representative, like Joy Division's 'Atmosphere' reinvented by Beach House, with echoed, far from the mike, dreamy vocals, accompanied by drum machines and a distorted production, in a Ringo Deathstarr mould.

Dreaminess is a theme that is apparent through much of the album, such as 'Dies in 55', with its fairground-themed organ and Seefeel-like schizoid interruptions and the more conventional 'Los Angered', possessing a laid-back atmosphere and guitars following a path similar to fellow capital dwellers Still Corners. There is also a point towards Broadcast on the latter and on 'Engelhardts Arizona', with its sonic guitar-tapping opening, but with influences of 60s girl groups and psychedelia in the background.

Where the album is at its strongest, however, is the songs that nod towards film and TV soundtracks. Such as James Bond on The Carpenters-on-acid 'Strangling Good Guys', and Twin Peaks in the reverbed bass on both 'Turkish Heights' and 'Candy Girl'. 'Turkish Heights' employs some nice 'Blue Monday'-esque drum machines and electronics and an excellent shimmering guitar which drives a haunting song, but 'Candy Girl' is the undoubted highlight. A more conventional number, with live, distorted drums, clearer vocals and baritone guitar. It's a mournful and downbeat song, but still with hints of optimism.

A melange of styles and influences, Ester is a strong, promising debut. They're currently on tour so go see them and you'll be drenched in warm fuzziness.

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