TORPID - Fraiseman

Torpid - Fraiseman

9 songs
49:48 minutes
***** ****


They had been talking about it for quite some time, one and a half year ago, Torpid finally flew to Chicago to record their new album with Steve Albini, the man who made already classics of Nirvana and Pixies albums. But you all know that, I suppose. And now, the much anticipated album is finally out!

Fraiseman is already Torpid’s sixth release since 1999, and although their sound hasn’t changed fundamentally on their new album, I would not be surprised that it was Albini’s production that helped the band to become more focused and more experimental at the same time. This may sound like an oxymoron, but Fraiseman is proof that this is possible. The album starts with two more accessible songs (Fluffy Bite, Zuman Hu) before two longer tracks (Floos, Whizz Bizz) show Torpid’s more meandering side. Mucker is not even three minutes long and something like a rock piece for radio stations, but still excellent. The short Interlude I is like free jazz played by a classic power trio. Jee Jee is another more conventional Torpid song. The ten minute epic Btaw is the album’s highlight. It’s more serene than anything the three-piece has ever done before, and the laid back atmosphere with its strong guitar chords reminds of Jane’s Addiction in their more sprawling moods. Another free jazz instrumental, Interlude II, concludes this excellent album.

Torpid’s sound is unique in Luxembourg, and that’s the main thing that always makes me enjoy their live shows. They feel at times like AmRep noise rock, then you are reminded of Primus testing the seriousness of Sonic Youth. In fact their music stands for everything intelligent the USA did from the mid-Eighties on. Only that Torpid are a Luxembourgish band. But rock’n’roll is transnational, so that’s not an argument. Steve Albini may not have reinvented Torpid, but he certainly helped them to redefine their sound in an interesting way.

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