Love No Less Than A Queen
On ‘Love No Less Than A Queen’, Trampolene prove they’re much more than a novelty, bringing anthems to make you dance, laugh and cry to.
Trampolene burst onto the scene a few years ago, led by the enigmatic Jack Jones who has quickly become Peter Doherty’s (The Libertines, Babyshambles) new buddy, not only supporting The Libertines but also becoming his new band-mate in The Puta Madres.
After a statement of a debut album, as well as a double album of previously released singles and EPs, Trampolene are back with ‘Love No Less Than A Queen’. Despite being signed to Doherty’s Strap Originals label, and being recorded at The Libertines’ Albion Rooms studio, this is their most commercially friendly release yet, with plenty of catchy tunes, clever songwriting and polished recording.
The first three songs on the album act as a perfect reflection of what the Welsh rockers are all about. ‘Gotta Do More Gotta Be More’ opens the record with a motivational, almost robotic repetition of its title, occasionally bursting into a distorted riff before exploding into a crescendo of noise. Following this, most bands would likely try to continue that same energy. Trampolene, however, brimming with confidence as always, are more than happy to change course with the acoustic ballad, ‘Oh Lover’. Not only does this show the romantic side to Jones’ songwriting but also its development since Trampolene’s early releases with its stuck-in-your-head chorus made perfect for radio play. Once again, the band mix things up with the psychedelic and trippy poem of ‘The Misadventures of Lord Billy Bilo’, encapsulating the thoughts and anxieties of a character coming home after a late night of probably doing too much. Complete with random visions of ‘tartan babies’ and cats turning into ‘sabretooth tigers’, it’s hard not to laugh at the reality that we’ve all had thoughts as messed up as these in the early hours of the morning.
Within this diverse start, Trampolene set the mast for their broad-ranging approach to music – never boring and always something to excite.
‘Love No Less Than A Queen’ then takes a quiet route, with ‘Remember’ introducing a sense of maturity, indicating the growing up the band have done over lockdown. This is swiftly followed by ‘Uncle Brian’s Abbatoir’, previously released in said lockdown with its instantly-recognisable hushed tune. Even more recognisably homely is the voice of the chorus, with Peter Doherty coming in with his trademark high-pitched gentleness.
‘Lighter Than Paper’ provides the album’s softest moment, with the romantic chorus, “got lots of people I could do something with but you are the only one I can do nothing with”, sounding carbon-copied out of a Valentine’s Day card. That, coupled with its calming backdrop, is sure to bring out lighters in the air as Trampolene’s touring returns.
Despite spreading their wings this album, Jack Jones and Co can still be the same band that have gained so many adoring and dedicated fans. The electric riffs and thumping drums of ‘Born Again’ are strongly reminiscent of the bands early releases, all about loud rawness and energy.
Those that saw Jones supporting Peter Doherty in Camden a few weeks ago will know that album-closer ‘Come Join Me In Life’ is already a firm fan-favourite. Seamlessly plucking up a mass poetry recital at an otherwise lively gig is something only Trampolene seem capable of creating with such enthusiasm and dedication.
On ‘Love No Less Than A Queen’, then, despite staying close to their poetic and garage-y roots, Trampolene branch out into polished and catchy songwriting that is sure to prove a hit not only with old fans, but also with new fans looking for their next favourite band.
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