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

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Moonloonies - Detonator – The Moonloonies are the latest from Mystic Stones' arsenal of neo-psych electronic bands. Essentially the duo of Crum and Cozmo, the creators of the neo-psych band Shockhead, they deliver nearly...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues