Album Review

Trin Tran – “Far Reaches, The” – [Castle Face Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/19/2014   12-inch, A Library

Catchy and infectious like a virus from outer space, or like
a one-man band from Earth, Trin Tran may have one foot in
Madison, WI and one foot on San Fran. He does *not* have
one foot on the accelerator, as his songs take their time
to squeeze in your ears and past the blood-brain barrier,
songs sturdily built on art damaged synth lines and broken
guitar that adds a sweet abrasiveness, like chocolate-covered
tumbleweeds. Both synth and guitar root out some great
simple punk riffs which then fit perfectly with his odd
and sublime vocals. Distorted and ranty, sometimes going
OCD on a phrase, like the killer lead off “Fashion Has
Happened To Fashion!” you don’t need to be Heidi Klum or
some other scary monster to find the truth in that. His
voice, and the lyrics too, almost feel like an alien mind
figuring out how to work fleshy mouth and peculiar world
that have been snatched along with Steve Coombs body.
The overall sum here exceeds the difficult to keep all
parts going at the same time (Trin Tran gets help here
from der Deerhoofer John Dieterich, and live others join
in the band apparently including Coombs guitar-slinging son!
So very good, exceeding the promise of “Dark Radar” and
calling for an unearthing of some old Xerobot songs KFJC
has (an earlier project before Trin Tran got his wires
installed and crossed). What is this you ask? Maybe Felix
Kubin built a gumball machine with just six pieces of
poison candy in it? Criswell joined Devo? “Hearts Are Serious”
has a break that sounds like that old Warner Brothers cartoon
dog that would inquire “Duh, which way did he go George,
which way did he go.” This nails the the smart/stupid
crossover as good as anything in a long time. Rarely am
I pissed to have a picture disk on one side, but I would
have traded that and an Oscar Gamble baseball card to
have another 6 mini miracles (with more lyrics, perhaps
further investigating the anaconda/cougar dichotomy
elaborated upon in the title track here). I even love the
name which without any other info I would have expected
some sappy Vietnamese cupcake lovesongs (and maybe he’s
got those up his shielded sleeve.) Get on board now
and enjoy Trin Tran before he opens for a David Bowie
hologram tour in a few years.

-Thurston Hunger

you heard it 27 times on kfjc! most recently:
add comment
Your comment may be revised by KFJC editors.
Copyright © 2022 KFJC 89.7 FM
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File