Since their debut release in 2000, Philadelphia’s The Trolleyvox have adhered to an album-every-third-year cycle that has seen them grow dramatically. Now, however, the power-pop group really means business. Hot on the heels of last year’s critically acclaimed The Karaoke Meltdowns comes an impressive two-CD set (separate if you opt to download) which feels neither rushed or stretched for strong, original material (the 22-song set’s sole cover is The Who’s “Our Love Was”).
The package is split between a completely acoustic disc, Lucerne, made up of 12 haunting folk tunes (five of which are instrumentals, with founding member Andrew Chalfen on guitar occasionally accompanied by guest celloist Eve Miller). The second disc is a meaty, full-band album, Your Secret Safe, which blends crunching power chords, regimental drum beats and a psych-folk-rock guitar-swirl all wrapped around Beth Filla’s beautifully serene lead vocals. It’s the latter disc which provides the more memorable cuts, with standouts such as the catchy rocker “Rabbit In the Sun” and the reverberating Byrdsy 12-string jangle of “Jean Jacket”—simply overwhelming the hushed, Nick-Drake-style tones of the former.