December National Music Reviews

Review: Blitzen Trapper – VII

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Blitzen Trapper
VII
Vagrant
Street: 09.30
Blitzen Trapper = The Eagles + Pavement + Fleet Foxes
Blitzen Trapper have more or less traded in the Gibsons and Tube Screamers of American Goldwing for the 5-string banjo and pedal steel guitar of VII. Lyrically, Eric Earley takes the listener from the long stretches of American highway and roadside bars to the deep woods of Oregon. The album opens dark with “Feel the Chill”, a song depicting a rollover accident in which the driver’s lover is ejected from the truck. “Shine On” picks up with a similar groove, featuring soulful licks from the harmonica and electric guitar, as well as some great gospel-style background vocals on the chorus. On “Oregon Geography,” the three-finger style banjo, coupled with the rain in the background of the track and the simple drum kit, create a gloomy, bluesy feel while Earley sings of the sights and experiences of train hopping and wandering around Oregon. VII is not a redundant addition to Blitzen Trapper’s discography. They’ve put together a unique sound for the album while still managing to sound Blitzen Trapper. –Chris Proctor
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