October 15, 2007

Review: The Trolleyvox | Your Secret Safe/Luzerne [MP3s]

The Trolleyvox -- Your Secret Safe and LuzerneIf there is such a thing as a perfect release date, Philadelphia-based duo The Trolleyvox may be hitting it Tuesday (after a bit of jumping around). The power-pop/folk rock concern's forthcoming double record is an ideal soundtrack to cool weather and autumn weekends. The set splits power pop into one disc, Your Secret Safe, and lighter, folker (tip o' the hat to Westerberg) material onto a second disc called Luzerne. The records are as different and the same as Saturdays and Sundays. Perhaps we're running a little far afield here, but our point is that The Trolleyvox's new discs are cut of the same cloth, despite stylistic and tonal differences that make for the aforementioned logical division. What unifies the two records is an infallible patience and pacing that is perhaps the most obvious manifestation of Andrew Chalfen's confidence and competence as a songwriter and guitarist. Singer Beth Filla is no slouch, either.

The division of the more rock and more folk musics into separate discs makes Your Secret Safe even more potent than The Trolleyvox's 2006 set The Trolleyvox Present The Karaoke Meltdowns [review]. And no note, beat or lyric is wasted. If you are going to make a power pop record, you are obviously paying a stylistic debt to The Who in the '60s, and Chalfen gives a nod to Mr. Townshend with an exuberant cover of "Our Love Was" (from The Who Sell Out). Another facet of Chalfen's '60s influence is apparent in the twelve-string led, Eastern-flavored and hypnotic nodder "Jean Jacket." The best lyrical turn may come during "Rabbit In The Sun": "panic on the inbound / see him all around town / wire coming unwound." The tune touts a punchy 6/4 verse that is a real lapel-grabber. Your Secret Safe ends surprisingly and strongly with the glorious extended shoegazer jam "Cricket In Euphoria," a song whose infinitely mellow and slack recession into reverb and nirvana is a joy to hear over and over again. When the guitar washes and panning start swirling in the eighth minute the hair may stand up on the back of your neck. Luzerne, unsurprisingly, is more acoustic and quiet. It's almost 50% instrumentals. The short, melodic rumination "Midvale" blurs the line between folk and Classical guitar solo. "Stomping Grounds" is punctuated by a melancholy violin that is remarkably evocative.

Transit Of Venus releases the double disc set tomorrow. Better still, the label is letting us give away a copy, so the first person to send us an email with the subject line "Wire Coming Unwound" will receive the records for free from :: clicky clicky ::. We'll update this post as soon as we have a winner. [UPDATE: We have a winner -- Congrats Ray.] There are no losers here, however. Everybody can download a few MP3s below, and both records can be streamed at Last.FM.

The Trolleyvox -- "I Call On You" -- Your Secret Safe
The Trolleyvox -- "Jean Jacket" -- Your Secret Safe
The Trolleyvox -- "Stomping Grounds" -- Luzerne
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[buy Your Secret Safe and Luzerne from Newbury Comics here]

The Trolleyvox: Interweb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

10/19 -- The Khyber -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
11/08 -- World Cafe Live -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
11/12 -- Knitting Factory Tap Bar -- New York, New York
11/23 -- TBA -- Yakima, Washington
11/24 -- TBA -- Seattle, Washington
11/25 -- TBA -- Portland, Oregon
11/26 -- TBA -- San Francisco, California
11/27 -- TBA -- Los Angeles, California
11/28 -- TBA -- Upland, California
11/29 -- The Wire -- Upland, California
11/30 -- TBA -- Tucson, Arizona
12/01 -- Casa Blanca -- Phoenix, Arizona

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