Recorded throughout 2012 and 2013 with producers Rory Atwell (Test Icicles) and MJ from Hookworms, the aptly titled Grin is eleven tracks of pure distorted joy. Starting off with 'Swimming Pool's sonorous, atmospheric welcome, the album twists and turns it's way through shards of hooky indie pop in 'Flowers' and 'Fibbist', plunging into darker krautrock depths in 'Klaus' and the title track. Grin successfully captures the raw energy of TRAAMS' frenzied and sweaty live performances, as witnessed at The Great Escape festival in Brighton earlier this year and time spent gigging with Parquet Courts and Hookworms.
Grin is the sound of a band finding true solace in music as a driving force. Bassist Leigh Padley has noted that the three members of the band felt compelled towards music as the only means to escape the mundanity of their hometown; "We had to start a band.“he says, ”It was all we had." As such, the album is bristling and vital - a sonic escape. The band has both a both a pop immediacy and a more expansive, experimental element and incorporating the two sides is essential when writing a TRAAMS song. As the band’s Stu Hopkins elaborates, "We really want to push both those areas as far as we can. We like seeing people dance and having fun but we also want to be noisy and aggressive.”
Not a 2020 record, but it’s my favorite find of the year. They stand firmly in the post-punk tradition without being self-conscious revivalists. Their musical project is wildly independent. Don’t try to label them (as I just did). Just listen and enjoy. Isagoge
Off to a great start piggybacking off of the fame that their previously released singles that got remasters for the album (Athens, France and Sunglasses) got, they really delivered here. With the mix of skill levels of each performer (none bad, but I mean more of their tone), there’s a rich feeling in each song. Each one paints a picture if you listen in. Easily one of, if not, the best album of the year and dare I say the decade. rm--