Its been a hectic couple of months in Oxford's little music scene. Radiohead have decided that home is where the heart is and so bless us with a local gig for us local yokels, Whispering Bob changed their name (I'm sure someone batted an eyelid somewhere...), but more importantly a new local band have emerged from nowhere. Blowing "...Trail of dead" off stage and releasing an impromptu E.P in the process, The Rock Of Travolta are suddenly a new local force (Even a possibility of a place at Radiohead's Festival has been mumbled). My bands better than your band is a knowing title. There were a number of people who wished them to fail as soon as the local rag spread them across an issue. TROT though had the gall to go and record their basic live set, in 11 hours and present it to us. This was a good thing.
It's not long before it is realised where these people are coming from. Compared shallowly to Mogwai and once-local jazz-core geniuses Nought, they are more a post-rock version of The Shadows. The tunes, energy and simplicity power the music. It is instantly accessible with its bass bouncing off your bedroom walls and the melodies looping round, begging to be played again. The first real track (after opener Yolanda, a brief talk about a lady who says, "fuck off" is funny if nothing else!) Giant Robo is something of an anthem. Fragments of guitar and bass swirl amongst a calming violin until the basses overdrive and the guitar turns to a haze of pop distortion. It becomes an extended power-pop chorus, full of youthful verve over a bed of bass and that violin, while always maintaining its charm. TROT excels at the simple idea of energetic rhythm under a tune you could whistle to and twisting it round your head until your smitten.
This album has no real low points, but there are times when the real energy of tracks like I love it when a plan comes together will depend solely on your own imagination. Also, the wide-eyed tunes could be too bright and brash for the Post-rock connoisseur. Given the right mood, this E.P should blow you away. The only thing I've heard come close to this style of accessible instrumentalia is Man Or Astro-man and this is better. This is definitely a statement of intent from a band with possibilities. Just don't expect them to go Prog-rock, or political.
8Joss Albert's Score