traps ps New Chants (LP, £15.75)label: Innovative Leisure
Traps PS are a band that breaks “less is more” all the way down to “less is everything.” You get it: like the Minutemen, the songs are short because they don’t need to be long. And like the Minutemen, sixty seconds of Traps PS hits harder and resonates longer than five-ten-twenty sloppy minutes from somebody else. Or like Gang of Four, who got it from James Brown, who is a fundamental Traps PS inspiration—Traps PS cares about discipline, rhythm and clarity. Says drummer Miles Wintner: “We don’t waste time.” Think Wire’s precision minimalism, antidote to the over-the-top spectacle of punk and pop both. You’ll hear it in “Seven Voices” or the album’s title track. Think Public Image and that caustic, corrosive—and purer for it—dissonance. You’ll hear it in “Two Truths,” with its ragged semi-chorus of “Emmmmmmbrace …” Think the Contortions, who tore out everything in their songs except the rhythm and discovered there wasn’t much else they’d needed anyway, except for some saxophone used more as flamethrower than musical instrument. You’ll hear that as “Fourth Walls” falls in on itself. And then think about Traps PS, who thought about what they didn’t need and then threw it out, and who made an album only out of what they felt mattered most: “Let it be what it is,” says Jeffords. New Chants is barely twenty minutes long—but it’s got everything.
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