Label: Unsigned Release date: 24/08/09 Website: Three Trapped Tigers - Myspace Buy: Blood and Biscuits Three Trapped Tigers continue their assault into the electronica world with EP 2, the second phase in their triptych of releases. First EP (shockingly Titled EP 1) was enthusiastically received by most, and impressing even further with the London trio’s electric live shows around the country bolstering their reputation. EP 2 continues in a similar vein with track titles, as the sadly disbanded Forward Russia did before them – simply numbered from 6 to 9 here (first EP 1 to 5). Members of the band come from an improv background, dabbling in improv clubs before the formation of TTT, and this is apparent in their music. Drawing on electronica of the past and infusing it with a precisely organized chaos makes for a hugely entertaining complexity of loud vibrant noise, usually played at 110 mph. During opener 6 layers are built from the start and emerge into a satisfying crescendo as the synth-influenced atmospheric soundscape remains melodic – and actually catchy despite the glitches and jumps throughout. Vocals are even used after the halfway point, a rarity for TTT, though with no words or lyrics; utilisng the human voice as an instrument. More straight forward that previous work – keeping a steady 4/4 rhythm for the most. Though their traditional time signature complexities is evident in 7 – I’m not even going to attempt to list the changes. It’s a track that meanders, mesmerizes and disorientates the listener, but by no means in a bad way, as the frantic, schizophrenic drumming of Adam Betts drives the track forward, possibly with drum-loops in tow. Guitars are manipulated into sounding likes synths - influenced by Squarepusher for sure, though less structured, and with more ambition. photo by Owen Richards There’s an argument to be had that Math-rock sensibilities are chucked into the mix – think technical Don Cab and experimental time signatures. Though anyone’s definition of Math-rock is always a tricky subject – hell, look at the comments on our piece on Math-rock awhile back. 8 is the most ‘out there’ track if you will, initially a huge challenge to listen to, though one which does grow to a certain extent. At times the electronics are so thick and scattered, it starts to sound like an intense battle from Star Wars if everyone involved was to have an epileptic fit, as a background of distortion flies around simultaneously. A bizarre wall of noise towards the end is exhausting, yet rewarding, especially with repeated listens. It is however perhaps a step too far, a tad ambitious. Final track 9 shows an alterative, ambient friendly side, a more minimalistic approach compared to the rest of the EP, certainly for the first half, before a more climatic ending – which falls a little flat, leaving the listener wanting more. Throughout, it’s more than a case of containing moments of inspiration, there’s inspiration that stretches over songs - though not quite the whole EP. Bold, challenging, and at it’s best (7) TTT are a whirlwind of creativity and excitement, but a touch more consistency wouldn’t go a miss. Rating: 7.5/10 MP3: Three Trapped Tigers - 7