EP: Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer

Blitzen Trapper is a folk rock band based in Portand Oregon. Recently signed with Sub Pop Records and with an album (Furr) by the label released in 2008, which became an instant American success, they have just given born to their EP baby ‘Black River Killer’.

Less ragged, husky or edgy than their neighbours The Dandy Warhols and with a less rocky and electro feel, they instantly persuade and engage with their crystal-like guitar sounds and their soft alternative drum and percussion beats in ‘Black River Killer’, a well-constructed pop version of what could have been a smokey Americana country song. ‘Silver Moon’ follows with piano as a melodic base, sparkles of harmonica and rhythmic guitars accompanying vocals that make one’s head sway from side to side in sunshine happiness.

‘Going Down’ and ‘Shoulder full of you’ are darker and lonelier twists of melodic interpretations as is ‘Black Rock’, with poetic tale-like lyrics focusing on forests, moons and night, as do, in fact, most of their songs. ‘Preachers Sisters Boy’ seems to take a peek at the old grunge acoustic delivery by Nirvana of ‘On a plane’ to then swiftly switch to a contemporary and more uplifting uptake on The Shins.

But comparisons aside, this is a compilation of different styles in their roots: there is definitely a captivating aura of exploration with multiple angles of inspiration and influences. Their enquiring personalities shine through in the seven tracks of this EP. There is sensuality, happiness, grief, bitterness, harmonious honey vocals and pure rock bravado. With these qualities in tow, they can freely choose to take whichever path they want or stay comfortably within their boundless and eclectic world.

Words: Liane Escorza