Every time I listen to the latest record from veteran ‘Jam-a-Delic’ German rockers Trigon, I wonder how in the hell I could have missed this band over the last quarter-century it has been in existence. HOW? Unfortunately for me, it’s probably due to the fact that they are German (I’m in the US), and also due to the fact that their music is almost entirely instrumental, which was not something I sought out in my formative (musically-speaking of course) years.
Let me just say, now that I know about the brothers Lange (Rainer on guitar and Stefan on Bass) and drummer (for the last three years) Rudi Metzler, I am making up for lost time by listening to ‘2011’ [NOTE: Is that the album name?] a whole hell of a lot.
When I queued up the album for the first time, I had no idea what to expect from the music. I could guess from the song titles that the band is German, but nothing gave away what they sound like. The first impression I had from the opening bars of track 1, ‘Peitscht das Kamel’, was that this was going to be a Stoner Rock band, maybe something like White Hills, but when the tempo slowed, my mind immediately went to Frank Zappa; This tune, and indeed many subsequent numbers, gave me the impression that Trigon have mastered the kind of improvisational jamming that I remember from Zappa albums I had as a kid. Replete with time changes, melodic flow and an ease born of virtuosity, ‘Kamel’ got me excited for the rest of the album. The double-bass drums at the end are especially cool.
The next standout track, from among a tight field of great, complex songs, is track 6 ‘Tanzen’, which even I know means ‘dancing’. At over 5 minutes, Trigon gives the song time to develop, from its almost Bluesy build up at the beginning (with some old-school pinch harmonics), it reminds me a little of vintage, late-80s Seattle-Prog legends Queensryche, but just in passing. ‘Tanzen’ is so well crafted, it’s really easy to get lost in the song; the guitar is melodic with just enough of a shredding edge. I could imagine this one, played live, extending into a much longer version.
Next up, in the favorites list on this album, is ‘Fata Morgana’, where a sitar-tinged opening, a roiling mysterious intro, builds into a classic, hard guitar chorus/melody, before again dropping into a Bluesy, meandering guitar solo. My descriptions definitely don’t do the song justice! The sitar-ish portions sound a bit like some effects Dream Theater used some years ago to achieve that exotic sound; Loved it then, love it now.
I could easily write a lot of nice things about all of the songs on this album, even including the Bonzo-inspired drum solo (on ‘Trommeltraum’), which I think is my least favorite track, but I don’t have enough words left. This album is really great for listening at work, it really flows and is extremely easy to groove to and like. It’s like listening to the 70s Hard Rock Legends cutting loose and playing, jamming and improving, without the bother of dealing with a Golden God vocalist and his ego.