"Live!" (Eleven Seven; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I gave Trapt's "Live!" a half more guitarsaw than their studio albums because the songs here -- although drawn from the previous two CDs -- sound a little heavier, a little more raw and a little more dynamic when performed live.

There are two new studio tracks here as well: "Alive" and "Everything to Lose." "Alive" is the better of the two, delivering a crunchy guitar riff that gets into your head right away. "Everything to Lose" is slower and more downbeat and doesn't really add anything to the mix.

Trapt fans will no doubt find everything to their taste with this live release while those unfamiliar with the band may or may not be tempted to further explore the band's catalog based on what they hear here.

Trapt: Chris Brown - vocals / guitar; Simon Ormandy - lead guitar; Pete Charell - bass; Aaron "Monty" Montgomery - drums.

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"Someone in Control" (Warner Bros.; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Trapt's "Someone in Control" was produced by Don Gilmore, who also did records by Pearl Jam, Linkin Park and Good Charlotte. That's worth noting because, like albums by those other bands (Good Charlotte in particular), much of "Someone in Control" sounds pretty much the same. That's not bad if you're a fan of the band, but the nuances that make each song different than the other won't be instantly recognizable by others.

"Someone in Control" starts off promisingly enough, with "Disconnected," a heavily guitar-driven song with an irresistible chorus.  It never gets any better than that opening track, however, although some tracks, like the strangely haunting "Victim," do show signs of life.

Not a bad CD but not a particularly enthralling one, "Someone in Control" will no doubt give fans the dose of Trapt they've been anxiously awaiting but probably won't hook many new fans.

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"Trapt" (Warner Bros.; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Well, might as well be upfront about my initial impressions of Trapt: Trapt remind me of doubleDrive's "1000 Yard Stare." Back in 1999, doubleDrive managed to put a fresh sound on hard rock with melody and without falling into burgeoning nu-metal traps (sorry, I couldn't resist). One could also throw Saliva in the 'sounds-like' department since Trapt have great vocal hooks.

As a whole, Trapt's self-titled debut didn't do a whole lot for me. However, a few tracks did jump out as being better than average for the style. "Headstrong" and "Still Frame" have great vocal hooks, "These Walls" balances fragility with defiance - definitely a good song no matter my opinion of the band, and "When All Is Said And Done" has a good nu-metal riff without stooping to the banality that nu-metal bands can and often reach.

Allow me a few general complaints: "Hollowman," despite its great riff, goes on about two minutes too long. Trapt tread in the difficult world of writing modern music with pop structures - five-minute songs aren't going to keep the listeners interest. Also, the vocals seem a bit rushed at times - but the rough vocals sometimes give a good counterpoint to the slick production. Oddly enough, vocalist Chris Brown often comes across like a rock version of Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) especially on songs like "Stories" - I know that is not very 'metal', but I think more than a few people would agree with me. Trapt sound innocent enough, but the lead vocalist says 'fuck' enough to be effective and not too much to sound like lots of bands which use 'fuck' as a substitute for practically any word.

I was about to ask whether or not anyone had seen doubleDrive lately and offer the suggestion that Trapt might too suffer the same fate - good record, good press, seemingly zero fan interest. However, I've discovered that doubleDrive are on Roadrunner Records and it seems that even though I may not care for Trapt there may be long-term prospects for the band's musical career seeing that doubleDrive have managed to maintain a profile in the industry.

The bottom line is that Trapt are successful in evoking the best songs of the angst-ridden teenage set and should find a decent sized audience throughout North America.

The production is only average to slightly above average - quite frankly, I expected better from a major label.

Trapt is Chris Brown on lead vocals and guitar, Simon Ormandy on lead guitar, Peter Charell on bass, and Aaron Montgomery on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 14:16:30 -0400.