Exposé Online banner

Trimtab — New Model
(Tsurumi Records TSU008, 2014, LP)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-05-30

New Model Cover artAt last year's Seaprog festival, Trimtab was one of the surprise crowd favorites. At the time, those who had heard them only had the band's 2010 CD to go on, and while it's a good recording with some excellent tunes on it, it provides little hint of what a powerhouse the band would become over the years since its release. Leader Jason Goessl is a guitarist who's hard to pin down: equally at home with powerful fusion leads, jazzy extended chords, twangy surf melodies, down-home acoustic picking, deep dub effects, and pretty much anything else that involves something resembling a guitar. This flexibility leads to Trimtab being a real chimera (in the mythological sense: a beast that's part lion, part goat, and part snake). You could probably call them fusion at the core, but it's fusion with touches of surf-rock and reggae (or even ska) prominent in the sound. Can't say I've come across this combination before, and it's important to note that there is not a hint of gratuitousness or incongruousness about Trimtab. The elements of their style may be unusual (if not unique), but it all integrates into one thing. Bassist Phil Cali keeps right up with Goessl's twists and turns, providing sparse reggae bottom or fiery fusion riffs as needed. His facility and good taste provide the perfect complement to the lead parts, whether busy and rhythmic or massively distorted. Many fusion drummers since the genre's inception have been flashy ultra-technicians, but Brian Oppel takes a different approach to this music, concentrating on subtlety and power in equal measures, not averse to getting out the brushes and laying back to provide a tasty counterpoint to the quieter moments. He's also a master of using his kit in unorthodox ways, like using parts of the drums other than the heads, though that's often not apparent from listening to a recording. Believe me, it's a kick to watch him live. Trimtab is an exciting new voice in adventurous instrumental music, and this model is both new and improved!

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Trimtab

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Marc Anderson - Timefish – Usually prog fans expect a certain level of complexity in their music, and a quarter-century's worth of artists have pushed the level of complexity in rock music in many ways: structurally,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues