T.R.A.M.
Lingua Franca


4.5
superb

Review

by TommyIcedB USER (16 Reviews)
April 25th, 2012 | 24 replies | 13,351 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It takes genuine skill to create music this pleasing, but T.R.A.M. pull it off on one of the finest debuts in a long time.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

I didn't know what to expect when first listening to T.R.A.M. Combining members of The Mars Volta, Animals As Leaders and Suicidal Tendencies, T.R.A.M. can be considered a supergroup of sorts, but, with each of them having significantly different musical backgrounds, I was certainly unsure of what to see coming upon listening to Lingua Franca for the first time.

The moment the music flowed through my ears, I was pleasantly surprised. Each member may have come from rock-orientated backgrounds, T.R.A.M. presents us with a sort of experimental, progressive jazz sound. It wasn't what I was expecting, but that just made the moment of truth so much more pleasing. The opening track 'Seven Ways to Sunday' introduces you to T.R.A.M.s classy, stand-out sound, complete with impressive trade-off soloing.

The record comes at all angles with its experimental jazz approach. 'Hollywood Swinging' is more straightforward, and, as the name suggests, has much more swing to it than the rest of the songs. On the other hand, the intro to 7-minute extravaganza 'Haas Kicker' is peaceful bliss. Every song will have something fresh and interesting hidden somewhere throughout.

What makes Lingua Franca so sensational is the instrumental skill on here. All instruments flawlessly bond together to make one flowing sound that can be a genuine pleasure to the ears. It's no surprise, given the members heritage, but the technicality and raw talent on each instrument is truly immense. They have taken their skills and worked together to put them in a completely different situation to what they're used to, and the results come together fantastically.

So, how does Lingua Franca lose marks? The most apparent problem is the length. Clocking in at only 29 minutes, T.R.A.M.s debut feels more like a big EP rather than a full-length album. It's a shame; I would have gladly waited longer for the release of a lengthier album. Once the 29 minutes is up, there is an overwhelming disappointment that, for now at least, the experience is over. Another slight problem is that, at times, the instruments seem to wander around aimlessly, the structure seems to completely blur with random clarinet or trumpet wailings. This, however, is not that much of a problem, since by this point I was so mesmerised by the instrumentation that I actually got caught up in these sections.

Before Lingua Franca, I had never sat down and listened to a jazz album with a sense of seriousness. T.R.A.M. have changed that, by crafting together a true gem of an album. There are problems, particularly the unfortunate length, however these aren't problems that completely collapse the music. Lingua Franca has been so intricately made and expertly pulled off, it is music in its purest, most pleasing form.



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user ratings (178)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TommyIcedB
April 25th 2012



24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Let me know what you think I'm gladly open for criticism.

ThroneOfAgony
April 25th 2012



3485 Comments


That is one fucking cool album cover

bloc
April 25th 2012



34772 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Given who was involved, I was kind of expecting more. I'd easily prefer AAL over this.

Great review though.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 25th 2012



7361 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a decent jazz fusion album. It has nothing on the old classics. The fans of the genre should at least like it though. Good review.

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

Manic_
April 25th 2012



447 Comments


definitely not a 4.5, still a good record though

MO
April 25th 2012



18514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Too short to be anything over a 4 but its definitely a nice treat. Endeavours rules hard.

Good review.

climactic
April 25th 2012



18691 Comments


i have mixed feelings on this

ITsHxCTOASTER
April 25th 2012



2488 Comments


I haven't listened to this but that is one hideous album cover

J0ckstrapsFTW
April 25th 2012



3652 Comments


"hideous album cover"[2]

macadoolahicky
April 26th 2012



1835 Comments


So this finally got reviewed...

Still have to read it though haha

dixoncocks
April 26th 2012



2471 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Drumming is top notch, Tosin Abasi really takes a back seat though.

Digging: Polyphia - Muse

MO
April 26th 2012



18514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's not like this is a Tosin side-project, collective effort. just because he isnt' wanking super hard doesn't mean he took a back seat, the rhythm section here is awesome, they do a fine job

bradhimself
May 11th 2012



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great, great record. I've been listening to this since it was released. Haas Kicker is a mother-fucking jam. Thanks for reviewing this!

CaptainDooRight
June 5th 2012



28832 Comments


awesome album

aaronrkc
August 24th 2012



135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So weird that this is out on Sumerian.

Digging: Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]

GiaNXGX
November 8th 2012



4867 Comments


decent fusion album.

666Micrograms
January 1st 2013



923 Comments


got some cool rhythms fo sho, never been big on the saxophone as instrument in general tho.

DeputyExorcist
March 17th 2013



69 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is great. A hearkening back to jazz fusion of the 70s, though not as good, of course.
I enjoy this as much as A.A.L- the tunes are catchy like herpes or the clap.

oltnabrick
March 17th 2013



30616 Comments


never been big the saxophone as instrument



as opposed to a saxophone as what?

Digging: Volcanic Queen - Sullen Empire

dixoncocks
March 18th 2013



2471 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

As a shiny object to insert into the anus obviously.



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