"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
- Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon: Or Many Things In Few Words, 1820
Rather than trying to hide the fact, Minneapolis' Trita comes right out as "a psychedelic Nirvana meets a punk rock Tool." Never mind the fact that Tool was pretty punk to start, and Nirvana were pretty trippy at times. This is shorthand for melodic, catchy hard rock with bestial, stripped down guitars delivering memorable riffs, with satin-smooth and emotive vocals breaking like a wave over the artillery fire of the rhythm section.
Trita may be musical magpies - they describe themselves as a mosaic of musical thievery - a kind of heavy metal mutant spliced together from the genetic material of Tool, The Mars Volta, These Arms Are Snakes, with a dash of New Age, post-rock and ambient music. Trita is heavy on ideas, and isn't afraid to throw things together in unusual ways, like the scratchy old oriental samples at the end of "Yellow Journalist", one of the strongest tracks on their album The Narcoma.
"Yellow Journalism" also is an example of what can go wrong with this EP, as Mike Baillie's vocals sound almost exactly like Maynard's, at his sweetest and most emotional, which is fine, but they also borrow the structure from “A Perfect Circle” song, following a similar Morse code thrash guitar outro as "Thinking Of You" from Mer de Noms.
It's not really a problem for me, but for a lot of people, music's success rides on the interplay between originality and relate-ability. You've got to sound a little bit like what's in, but deliver something people haven't heard before. I don't doubt that as Trita continues, they will do exactly that.
I feel like we might have another Neurosis or The Melvins on our hands - a heavy band, unafraid to take risks with a weird sense of humor. Their songwriting and musicianship means they can pull it off, which is exciting! As a longstanding metal head, I'm always waiting with baited breath for someone to inject the leaden grooves and thrash attacks with fresh blood.
Trita's influences may be some of the biggest names in extreme music, but their instincts are pure, raw, lo-fi, anarchic and individualistic. They play it clean, but record it dirty and weird. They are capable of great beauty, like the sunset guitars of "Turquoise" but they can summon the violence of the circle pit at will. This music is truly of the underground, but good enough for the mainstream, which suggests big things to come!
My only suggestion is that Trita try to find their own distinctive voice, or bring in other influences as well, as the general public is highly unforgiving of things that sound unoriginal. Judging from the amount of ideas on The Narcoma, I'm not worried.
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