BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Blitzen Trapper has always defied description, a quirk they seem to enjoy and embrace. Though they’ve been loosely defined as Americana, they’re more than willing to diverge or digress, and with VII, those seemingly random whims continue to hold sway.
While those that have followed the band from the beginning are probably already acclimated to their music’s usual twists and turns, they may still find themselves at a loss to absorb the blend of folk and funk evident on “Feel the Chill” or the peculiar attempt at rural rap on “Shine On” and “Oregon Geography.” It’s not that the band’s abandoned their rootsy regimen entirely; the swampy “Valley of Death” and the pluck and strum of “Don’t Be a Stranger” retain their down home designs, despite the fact that their traditional trappings are becoming increasingly less evident all round.
To be sure, Blitzen Trapper can be commended for breaking down the boundaries between roots and rhythm, even though they may alienate those more accustomed to the tried and true. If Blitzen Trapper can convince fans to indulge their more adventurous ambitions, VII may prove their lucky number indeed.
DOWNLOAD: “Valley of Death,” “Don’t Be a Stranger,” “Feel the Chill”