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The Shy Trafficker - Hard Fought, Found Thought CD (album) cover

HARD FOUGHT, FOUND THOUGHT

The Shy Trafficker

Post Rock/Math rock


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Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The urban centers of the United States were the cradle of what is now called Mathrock and that is perhaps no accident considering the leaden, heat-treated, metalline works that this little movement offers. A product of American industry at its most clashing and crudely effective, and one of the most interesting styles to emerge anywhere in years with its jarring mix of obsessive patterns, carefully textured dissonance, jangling guitars and tasteful minimalism.

In Minneapolis, down in Chicago, east to Pittsburgh and Cleveland, the number-crunchers had found a voice that is still going strong nearly twenty years later, and with The Shy Trafficker - a drums/bass/guitar combo relocated to Seattle from San Antonio - that tradition continues. This trio also shows a taste for jazz, sometimes even Lounge, and it's an entertaining juxtaposition. 11-cut Hard Fought,Found Thought opens on a sequence of unrelated musics involving pretty guitars and various noises, 'Romance and Sequiturs' finally getting down to business with Kenny Day's popping drums carrying the interloping guitars & basses of Mark Coburn and John Campos, a track that progresses well and becomes addictive by the end (if you forgive the lads their vocal silliness). 'Ape Will Eat Chicken' is a droner that meanders awhile, gathering momentum under gangly surf-rock morphing into miscalculations with near-disastrous results. 'Frontier' starts on some sour jazz and crawls along painfully, 6-minute 'Pitches and Creme' fumbles about before resembling what a besotted Neil Young and friends might've done in a garage 30 years ago, and catchy swing of 'Intermission' where loungelizards meet Punks most convincingly. Excellent 'Vicissitudes' succeeds in a similar vein, probably the most cohesive cut and a real accomplishment for a group of this ilk, as is 'Candelabra' and 'Uds Madre'.

Surely a band only for those already taken with the American mathrock movement, and perhaps only a handful at that, the Shy Trafficker is no Don Caballero. But then, who is?

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Posted Friday, May 28, 2010 | Review Permalink

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