Sound — 8
California rockers Trapt are back with a new album "Someone In Control." The band struggled a lot to become what they are now. Their story is not a trivial "happened to be in the right place in the right time" -? they had a hell lot of difficulties and obstacles on their way -? a hard decision between music and education, loss of a drummer, difficult relationship with record companies. Schoolhood buddies Chris Brown (vocals) and Peter Charell (bass) made a band under the impression of music by Korn, Soundgarden, Pink Floyd and Metallica. With guitarist Simon Ormandy and drummer Aaron Montgomery they signed their first contract with to Warner Bros in 2001. A year later they released a successful self-titled EP under the production of Garth Richardson, who previously worked with Rage Against the Machine. Now the band is busy touring in support of the album, which was out just yesterday. "Someone In Control" was produced by Don Gilmore, famous for his collaboration with Linkin Park and Lit. It is 11 razor sharp tracks with the strong sense of melody. While the debut album had a lot of grunge-lite riffs and alt-rock feel, the current one is rougher and features more raw guitars. The band uses a lot of atmospheric guitars as well, which add songs U2 flavor, ethereal and distortion guitars drive on all tracks, while rhythm-section is clean and distinctive. Most songs are varied with weird sounds in the very beginning, probably borrowed from the '80s movie about spaceships. The lead single "Stand Up" has quiet melodic versus and heavy blow-out fast-paced choruses. As well as all other 10 songs and an additional track at the end of the record. Things get more and more monotonous with every next song. The formula of balance between very loud and quiet is best produced in "Lost Realist" -? a ballad with beautiful harmonies. For the words "Carve me from stone, right to the bone" I can even forgive Chris a boring bridge. "Skin Deep" has a repetitive chorus and thus is the most catchy track.
Lyrics — 6
Even though the band is considered to be metal, or at least hard-rock, Brown croons far more than he screams. That can't not get on your nerves after you played the CD a couple of times. It seems like he's complaining and whining about his problems all through the record instead of fighting for his life. Sometimes I feel so sorry for him -? like in "Victim" -? pure boy, what makes you croon so desperate? Chris is writing lyrics himself and puts his soul in what he's singing about. As the in the lyrics he's complaining as well -? "I feel so incomplete, you left me too far behind/It's too hard to just move on its too hard to just move on" -? it sounds even more boring. In the choruses there are a lot of echo in the vocals to intensify Brown's voice. With that effect the voice sounds week compared to the load of other instruments.
Overall Impression — 8
Brown and Charell grew up in a small town in California, where the kids' lives were decided beforehand by their parents. The doom of their lives left a step in their music in absence of ambitions and desperation. As Brown says, every song on the album is either about loosing a control or trying to have control. The new record follows the same formula Trapt invented on their debut album. Seems now it's the destiny of most rock bands -? either the record companies are too afraid to fail with something new or the bands are scared of experimenting. It's obvious though the last three years didn't pass in vain for Trapt as a new record is much more mature, then it's predecessor. The album is strong in some areas -? it's very well produced, songs are easy to listen to and catchy. The musicians are all skill-wised, but there's still something missing in their sound. That's a pretty good record for an unschooled listener though.