CMJ 2009: Day 5 – The Temper Trap + Midnight Juggernauts

The Temper Trap

Ace Hotel, New York City

Superb guitar parts. So much so that at first I had trouble understanding singer Dougy Mandagi’s vocals–and I’m not talking about a bad audio mix nor a heavy accent, just why he was bothering at all. “They’d be better off as instrumental post-rock band,” I thought (then promptly scolded myself for using such a silly term.) Prescient, then, that their only request to the sound guy was “more vocals” (in the monitors)–it all started to make sense after a few songs when other band members started joining in with twisty-turny background vocals, each secondary line every bit as interesting as the lead if you listened closely enough. Godspeed, you Aussie hotshots.

Midnight Juggernauts

Ace Hotel, New York City

Midnight Juggernauts opened with a superb three-note figure that was all about the string-bend, much like the new single from Alice In Chains (“The New Class”) but without the accompanying blasphemy and disappointment. Next I was promptly told by some wallflower hipster type that I looked like a cop. Why? Because a) I had earplugs in and b) “We wear tight pants up in this motherfucker.” OK, time to go.