How to Go
I first became aware of Trapped in Kansas this year when I attended a gig in May, though I enjoyed their set unfortunately they found themselves completely blown out the water by the headline act, And So I Watch You From Afar, so I’m glad to be able to sit down with their new EP 'How to Go'.
It opens with a flurry of guitar effects and high-pitched vocals reminiscent of an early Wayne Coyne. Clocking in at a minute-and-a-half long, first track 'The Man Does Wear the Mask' is what you could term a statement of intent. Much of the EP is driven by the complex effect-laden string work on offer, such as on 'Stick to the Roads' with its noodly intro. It would be easy to term Trapped in Kansas as 'Math Rock' but there is just a little bit more on offer than that. Rather than being purely contained by their instrumental ability, the vocal inputs allow the band to transcend those limitations and utilise big choruses and similarly well-sung verses. Fans of Tubelord and Dananananaykroyd will latch on immediately.
It’s rare to find a Scottish band nowadays that doesn’t draw comparisons to Biffy Clyro, and Trapped in Kansas do occasionally fall victim to that trap: a jittery verse rhythm here, epic build up there, but their own imprint is a much clearer picture. The final track on the CD, ‘Happiness Is an Allegory, Sadness a Story’ is gigantic, with time signature changes galore, massive sweeps and that trademark voice at full potential. This is hopefully indicative of the band's future direction; it represents where they got it totally right and with more songs like this behind them they could stand side by side with their contemporaries.
What 'How to Go' seems to say is “Here is a band ready for the world”, and with more finely produced, well-written numbers like this to their name I don’t see why the world wouldn’t be ready for a band like Trapped in Kansas.
Posted: Tue 18 October 2011