Oh, Ballerina – TRAITRS (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

TRAITRS are at the cutting edge of a line of sonic evolution that links all manner of great pioneering, post-punk and alternative rock bands. And although their pounding bass lines and programmed drums tell you plenty about the gothic mists from which some of their inspiration is drawn, bands such as Editors and Interpol are never too far out of mind either.

But it doesn’t pay to dwell too much on the past and for every chronologically distant touchstone, there are also plenty of contemporary references too, from the icy sonic strands of The Sea At Midnight to the psych-noir of Mayflower Madame.

There is also a fairly understated and unadorned vibe to the music, a reflection of band member Shawn Tucker’s exploration of the music and approach of Philip Glass and it was this which turned an improvised minimal and abstract piano piece built mainly from atmospheric tones and textures into the highly charged and dramatic track before us.

And if the music is fairly straightforward, the video is less so. Deliberately vague and circular in its storyline, it raises more questions than it answers but works as a wonderful piece of contemporary, abstract horror and the perfect platform through which to thread some performance footage.

Horses In The Abattoir, a full-length album, follows soon but in the meantime, repeated plays of Oh, Ballerina is going to more than keep you occupied.

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