BLITZEN TRAPPER Wild Mountain Nation (Lidkercow)
Imagine Pavement refereeing a friendly tussle between the Basement Tapes-era Band and The Flaming Lips, perhaps with The Magic Band hollering encouragement from the bleachers. Congratulations: the sound in your head is a pretty close approximation of the third album from Portland, Oregon collective Blitzen Trapper.
They do mad, upbeat garage clattery (Devils A-Go-Go), simultaneously old, weird and futuristic Americana (the title track) and distorted, Pavement-esque heaviosity (Miss Spiritual Tramp, kith and kin to the aforementioneds Shoot The Plane Down). Elsewhere theres a cryptic country hoedown attended by primitive synths (Futures & Folly), biscuit-tin electronica (Sci-Fi Kid), backwoods myth-making (Badgers Black Parade), and, perhaps most bizarrely of all, the acoustic pastoral Summer Town. Tantalisingly, the credits credit one Mike Coykendal with writing and recording assistance on two tracks: could he be the Portland, Oregon-based Mike Coykendall whos worked with Richmond Fontaine?
It might sounds like a backhanded compliment to suggest that Wild Mountain Nation seems longer than its 34 minutes. I dont mean that its an interminable listen, more that it packs so much detail and variety into its brief running time that it seems like an ever-expanding box of arcane, unfolding trickery.