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traitrs horsesintheabattoir
Artist: Traitrs
Title: Horses In The Abattoir
Genre: Post Punk / Alt Rock
Release Date: 19th November 2021
Label: FreakWave / Schubert Music Europe GMBH

Album Review

Is this RADIOHEAD? It sounds like it! Oh no it’s not, it’s Robert Smith. Ah! It’s not him either but it bloody sounds like him as well! I thought I’d started the wrong album, ha! Now the familiar TRAITRS sound asserts itself. TRAITRS have gone from strength to strength since forming over six years ago. The first album ‘Rites and Rituals’ was released on Pleasence Records and after the band gained a healthy dose of interest in North America and Europe, they then released the critically acclaimed ‘Butchers Coin’ long player in 2018. Their work ethic was intense after this and they played various festivals both in Europe and North America which drew the attention of Thomas Thyssen and Eric Burton of Schubert Music Group. In October 2020 TRAITRS were announced as the first signing to their new label FreakWave Records.

The album feels, in places like I’m forever atop a never-ending wave. I surf the white tops that don’t dissipate to calm water but keep up their regular and pleasing momentum. The bass being the instigator of movement, a thick stringy windswept soundscape. The guitars being the white frothy caps. This is a fluid progression from their previous album from 2018, the themes more or less the same but at the same time different, you know what I mean? Some bands have a sound, they don’t deviate from that sound too much. But they still are capable of sucking as much creative juice out of those old bones without the whole proceedings sounding hackneyed and boring and old hat. Its subtle shifts in how a note is played or where it’s positioned that give off the air of freshness.

‘Sea Howls’ is so RADIOHEAD! ‘Magdalene’ is so THE CURE as it lols along. You see what I did there? “Lols along!” Oh, never mind! ‘Oh Ballerina’ briskly walks with chin jutting defiance! It asks questions and demands answers like a lighthouse flashing its light at a faraway ship, the keeper waiting for the ship to flash back! The next track, ‘TV Hours’ goes all ROB ZOMBIE / SKINNY PUPPY with samples of movies and sports broadcasts from the 1950s and 60s scatter the sound garden Life isn’t always milk and honey… before a bump bump bump thump of drums pull you into a dark body sway of...

‘All Living Hearts Betrayed’ is very meaty. If Robert Smith was in his 20s in this century, he’d be making stuff like this! Now it’s cathedral like, big and voluminous, spine tingling and awesome. The guitar ornamentation shimmering like spectres floating in still air. ‘Last Winter’ is so THE CURE it could be THE CURE from the 1980/82 era. Yes, I know, I said that in the previous paragraph, I’ve repeated myself, I don’t care. This is wonderfully wistful and despairingly muted in the vocal. The keyboard tinkers along like neon footsteps in fog. Great drum pattern too!

On we go to the awesome ‘From This Old Mirror’ with a guitar that sounds like silvery wire being wound into rope to ‘Ghost In The Storm’ which oozes thick hypnotising bass helped along by that finished rope guitar. The accompanying video shows a bearded man in a white shirt walking down a street lined with closed shops and graffiti, he talks to himself before finally ripping off his shirt in a parking lot, despair, tiredness and futility finally getting the better of him. And then we have ‘Last Winter.’ Gosh it’s 1982 again, it really is! This would fit in ‘Japanese Whispers’ quite easily! The vocal is big, rounded and exclaims proudly and defiantly.

‘The Way Through a Bird’s Love’ is the finale. Pooooom pooooom poom pooooom goes the bass as this track starts, my ears feel like they’re massaged by large bubbles. The sustained guitar notes hover in the background, darting about when needed. The bass sounding front and centre. Spaced out and melancholically stoic is the vocal, it winds around everything else like twine, “Say Goodbye, Say Goodbyyyy”. ‘Bloodflowers’ era THE CURE?

This is brilliant! It grows on you the more you listen. It is dark, grand, cacophonous, spacious and claustrophobic and full of ornamentation to keep the emotion fresh and interesting! I highly recommend!


01. Sea Howl
02. Mouth Poisons
03. Prostitution
04. Magdalene
05. Oh, Ballerina
06. TV Hours
07. All Living Hearts Betrayed
08. From This Old Mirror
09. Ghost And The Storm
10. Last Winter
11. The Way Through A Bird’s Love


Shawn Tucker - Vocals, guitar, bass guitar and lyrics
Sean-Patrick Nolan - Synths, piano, sequencing and programming
Additional percussion by Josh Korody


Cover Picture

traitrs horsesintheabattoir


Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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