Truman & His Trophy - Springinsguth (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Truman & His Trophy

Springinsguth (2009)


Truman & His Trophy are close with another spasmodic, precocious pop-rock act, Dr. Manhattan, but unlike that band, Truman & His Trophy's musical ideas never quite coalesce into comprehension or clairvoyance on this full-length effort, Springinsguth.

After a curt acoustic intro song in the form of a title track, "Tomato Feet" comes forth as an up-tempo, keyboard-driven, raw rock song that sounds like a less polished and poor successor to Say Anything's "Little Girls." A somewhat more successful form of anthemic placeholders infect the scuffed-up power-pop of the band's next track, "Plain Brains," but this inconsistency or otherwise end-product of mixed results becomes a common theme through the rest of Springinsguth.

Somewhat sharper post-punk riffs and a certain potential is apparent in something like "Nails." But something's still off-kilter here, and not in a good way; the roughly delivered falsetto of their lead vocalist (ever-present on this one, as well as "No Forks, No Spoons") is no help. The turned-up fuzz and dancier beat of "Flower Man Party" just makes Truman & His Trophy sound like a tamer, way less realized So Many Dynamos, and that's a bummer (and I can't be too sure what the band means when they insist "the government won't hold back the party in [their] living room"). A prickly riff, rolling drum fills, brief horn usage and jumpy, shouted vocals make "Peach Tree" one of the album's better, more interesting moments, and it's a similar method for the equally interesting and pleasantly clustered "Pig Necklace."

There's some dude (producer? friend?) whose voicemail was included at the end of the song "Elmaira," and in that voicemail he gives his thoughts on that very song. What he says about the vocals I'll have to agree with regarding Springinsguth as a whole: "Not bad. Not super great, though."

every track on Springinsguth...except "Springinsguth"