Trinket: Set to Explode

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By Ben Varkentine

Okay. You know how sometimes you buy a recording because you like the hit single? And then when you get it home and play it, not only is there nothing else you like as much on the album, the rest of it sounds completely different? Listening to Trinket’s new album is just like that, except that I hadn’t heard the first single “Boom” before. Nor do I think I will any time soon. But it so clearly sets itself apart from the rest of the album—its got a kind of INXS flirts with Aztec Camera thing going on—it practically screams “single!”

The rest of the album isn’t half bad, but this is a group casting about for a sound of their own, earning comparisons to handfuls of other bands without managing to define themselves as anything special. “Superhuman” abuses a synthesizer by using it gratuitously and never doing anything with it worthwhile (and also echoes INXS) while “Throwaway Culture” recalls a less-polished Def Leppard, minus the melodic hooks. “Deceiver” sounds like it was written by a high school student after hearing Led Zeppelin on the radio (and adds distorted, Nine Inch Nails-esque vocals for added bonus) and “Burgundy Shine” is their Rolling Stones riff.

Now, granted, the above band has variety going for them, but it still seems to be lost at best, at worst simply unable to be more than a second-tier act. Even when they’re not reminding you out-and-out of another band, they sound like they’re doing covers. “Shedding My Skin” and “Haunt Pallenberg” are just collections of musical and/or lyrical cliches, the latter of which quotes “Rock and Roll Girl” by the Beat to no great affect. Other than reminding you of how long it’s been since you’ve listened to it, now where is that mix tape? Some of the song titles, not to mention that of the album, give an early clue to the bands aspirations. They’re “Set to Explode,” they want to go “Boom,” to be “All The Rave,” to be “Superhuman,” “To Be A Star.” Unfortunately, their more-likely fate can be found in “Throwaway Culture.” The last song on this predictable album begins with the words “Never saw this coming, not in a million years.” I’ll take things that will never be said about this album for $900, Alex.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/trinket-set/