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Trapdoor Fucking Exit - Crooked Life / Straight World (Cover Artwork)

Trapdoor Fucking Exit

Trapdoor Fucking Exit: Crooked Life / Straight WorldCrooked Life / Straight World (2006)
No Idea Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Knowing when to say "that's enough" is an invaluable bit of foresight. Everyone's seen an otherwise solid movie that's dragged on for about 20 minutes too long at the end, bringing the entire movie down to a less than enjoyable level. This happens with music all too frequently as well, and the lates.
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Knowing when to say "that's enough" is an invaluable bit of foresight. Everyone's seen an otherwise solid movie that's dragged on for about 20 minutes too long at the end, bringing the entire movie down to a less than enjoyable level. This happens with music all too frequently as well, and the latest victims come to us courtesy of the otherwise blemish free No Idea records.

Trapdoor Fucking Exit's downfall is that very lack of foresight. The longer an album goes on, the more each song needs to have a strong individual identity while maintaining an overall cohesive feel. Herein lies the problem. Cohesive? Absolutely. Strong individual identity? Not so much.

It's a very unfortunate situation, because TFE are an extremely talented outfit. If you were to listen to just one song, and one song only, you'd likely come away from it wanting to hear more. The five-piece has a definite post-punk flair, with the cascading rhythms of guitarist Jens Aker leading the charge. "Swastika Heads" presents some stellar riffing towards the middle of the song, but when vocalist Henke Andersson comes back into the fray, the rest of the track becomes overly repetitive, a problem that would likely not exist if the band had the song end around the three-and-a-half-minute mark, versus the almost five that it actually took to culminate. That's the general problem with almost every song on the record -- the long-winded nature means that any specific splashes of brightness get lost in the shuffle.

The shortest song on the record is over four minutes long, and the songwriting is not quite as dynamic as it would need to be to retain that amount of attention for a full 50 minutes.

Still, the band is capable of throwing together some pretty enjoyable sections of music when they really put their mind to it. Andersson's howling vocals remind of Menegaur's lead singer, and the raucous chord progressions are for the most part fresh and exciting. The title track displays the band at a fevered pitch, firing on all cylinders with the only reprieve coming after the three-minute mark when the vocals drop out for some great riffing to take hold. But the song could have ended right there, the re-entry of the vocals doing essentially nothing but drag on the inevitable end for another minute or so.

A talented group they are, but part of talent, and intuition, is knowing when to pull the plug, and that's where TFE falter. Simply unable to seal the deal, what's left is a band sitting in place and spinning their tires.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TommyPickles (June 3, 2008)

TDFE are fucking amazing

Dsquared (November 17, 2006)

This review gives the album a shitty score by saying Trapdoor fucking exit shouldn't release the kind of songs they have built their name on. This album is what a fan of the band would expect, and the music is actually crafted to fit the feeling of the song. It should have received a much higher rating.

adam (June 12, 2006)

"I liked it when bands would decided when their songs ended, call me nostalgic."

Nostalgic for when? The early 50s maybe? The Beatles had producers who helped them best shape their songs. The Clash did too. Even the best bands could use a critical ear to help them make things tighter, just so long as the producer is working with the band's interests in mind (and not, say, the label).

-adam

Anonymous (June 12, 2006)

"I'll probably agree with Adam and say next time they need to get a producer who will know when to end a song yet still have a great song in their grasp."

I liked it when bands would decided when their songs ended, call me nostalgic.

wyzo

yellowtrash (June 12, 2006)

Is this band name a tribute to the Dead C?

Anonymous (June 10, 2006)

But just about saying i liked the prior record, 'be not content,' more - i absolutely feel that songs like "here are the ghosts" and "gods' forgotten apologies" are SO powerful. damn it.
and put that instrumental "killing time" in there too. melancholy as all shit! the best
-Janelle

but that wrenching "here are the ghosts" damn get chills every time i hear that one

Anonymous (June 10, 2006)

I think TFE rock on pretty hard and aren't given the credit they deserve. I do agree though that a lot of their songs are a little bit longer in length than they should be.

I'll probably agree with Adam and say next time they need to get a producer who will know when to end a song yet still have a great song in their grasp.

Ramo

Anonymous (June 10, 2006)

God damn this band are good, this reviewer obviosuly has a ton of wax in his ears!

Anonymous (June 9, 2006)

Meneguar kicks ass. Really, really underrated band. Everyone should check them out. One of the best live shows I went to in 2005.

Anonymous (June 9, 2006)

It should be mentioned Trapdoor is not a melodic punk band, and they will never have short, sweet songs.

They are amazingly talented musicians, keeping sweden rocking.

If you expect Hot water music or against me for all no idea releases this record is probably strange, even if you go as far as the no idea holy mountain grind stuff.

So I understand the score, but I think it also depends pretty heavily on the reviewer (which is not a bad thing).

One of the vinyl records I'm hoping to buy soon. From the last record 'be not contect' with a bluesy black flag feel, and from what I've heard of this so far, I'm going to like it.

wyzo

Anonymous (June 9, 2006)

oh i like 'em. the last album they put out i thought was great! liked that better than this 'un
-Janelle

adam (June 9, 2006)

This review is pretty dead on. I've always had the sense that TFE just needs a good producer to slap their hands and keep their stuff short and sweet.

-adam

Dante3000 (June 9, 2006)

Thanks for this review. I was considering picking this up as I had read about them on the No Idea site and they seemed really interesting. However, this may cause me to think a bit harder about it.
-Dante

inagreendase (June 9, 2006)

I wanted to like this album but something was standing in the way. I think you pinpointed it exactly.

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