Placebo, Radiohead, Swervedriver
Spacehopper is the debut album from the four piece band out of England, Tripwires. The shoegaze genre which hit its peak during the early 90's is still showing some signs of life every now and then. Tripwires clearly has an affinity to the space rock... gaze into the stars with the Verve-like vocals along with a boatload of swirling guitar work. The album is very well produced with a crisp high-end sound quality that will sooth your speakers well. We have melded several of our editors notes into this one and found it very interesting that all referenced the Placebo, Swervedriver and Radiohead sound influences. For fans of those bands, this should be clearly evident after your first listen.
Spacehopper is one of those albums that is sonically enjoyable from the first listen. That being said, after several listens, you will notice the band does have its own identity and does a superb job with what we like to call mid-range shoegaze. They do not sway or move to far outside their display box, but do an excellent job planting unique melodies and riffs that you will find very catchy and appealing. The first song and self titled track contains a encompassing mood blossoming into swirling guitar-work along with some dark overtones. At about three minutes in the song bursts into higher energy mode. "Love Me Sinister" sets the steady mood providing a great backdrop of sound and unique guitar effects. "Wisdom Teeth" is the simplest track on the album is a bit of a downer losing the energy and momentum within the album. "Tinfoil Skin", however, picks things back up with a terrific bass-line and has a Swervedriver-like blissful presence offering a longer repetitive ending that gains appeal as it slowly expands into a very cool climax.
Our favorite track is the closer "Slo Mo" one of the more simplistic works on the album, but featuring absolutely beautiful vocals with unique trailing guitar that intentionally lags behind for an echo well timed counterpart. The song is short, but powerful. Skip the bonus track, "Clusterfuck", by the way... better ended with "Slo Mo"
Overall, Spacehopper is an impressive debut for the four lads from England. if you like the three bands listed above, be sure to pick this one up. As mentioned they do a superb job of melding the three band influences, while still maintaining their own identity.
Standout Tracks: Slo Mo, A Feedback Loop of Laughter