Trampolene “Swansea to Hornsey”
What is it about Wales that allows it to develop so many bands that are determined to demonstrate the powerful influence of escape and childhood memories. The best example of this is of course the wonderful Manic Street Preachers. But even bands like The Super Furry Animals and The Stereophonics have based many of their songs on dealing with real life experiences – both good and bad.
This album opens with a list of childhood references and depending on what the comment is, their friends will either be delighted or horrified to be mentioned! Most critically it ends with the phrase “I was the first to get out, thank f*** for that”. Together with “Imagine Something”, which contains a line about there being nothing to listen to on playlists, it’s a great statement of intent from the Trampolene. The attitude on songs like that, and to a smaller extent the sound, reminds us of when the cocky Manic Street Preachers first emerged. There’s an arrogance and confidence to songs like “Alcohol Kiss” and the psychedelic power of “Storm Heaven” which allows this release to stand out amongst the majority of run of the mill indie albums.
Tracks like “Dreams So Rich Life So Poor” and “You Do Nothing For Me” are the sort of epic indie rock number that make you think you might be on to something very special with this band. Like when Oasis first appeared it’s not exceptionally different or new but there is just a freshness and vibrancy to the sound.
Importantly they do also have the ability to slow things down and show a more varied sound. Song like “The Gangway”, “The Boy That Life Forgot” and “Beautiful Pain” already sounds like lighters in the air festival moments. “Primrose Hill” is totally different with an almost funk rock opening before moving in to an indie anthem sound that you feel is calling out for BBC 6 music airplay.
As already remarked, this album doesn’t necessarily offer anything extraordinary in terms of sound. Indeed, it is almost like a tour through recent great UK indie pop bands from The Manics, to Oasis and then The Libertines. But all those bands leant heavily on acts from the past (The Clash, The Beatles, The Kinks) so that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, against a background of pretty uninspiring new indie bands it’s good to see Trampolene are at least trying to take on the mantle of being a great UK indie rock band. After all, Mr Eavis has been asking where the next festival headliners are coming from. It may not be Trampolene yet but in the future who knows!!