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

Trapdoor Fucking Exit

Trapdoor Fucking Exit: Crooked Life / Straight World

Crooked Life / Straight World (2006)

No Idea


2.5
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...

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.