One of the reasons post-punk remains such a fertile field for guitar music is how open, how creative the areas remains - literally, anything is possible.
Leeds trio TRAAMS seize upon this, with their music seeming to exist in a space where all manner of sounds are free to mingle and fuse together.
New album 'Modern Dancing' is forthcoming, with Hookworms' MJ at the controls in Leeds' Suburban Home Studios. It's an intriguing document, with the band benefiting from greater freedom and greater confidence during the recording process.
"As a band we felt more focused this time, we had a clearer idea of what we wanted," Leigh explains. "We are very happy with everything we've put out but the structure of these sessions really helped us get stuck in and try new things. It was great working with MJ again too. It's generally a more positive record than our first, it's a bit brighter, and a tad more optimistic, ultimately it documents our first couple of years touring, new friendships and relationships."
Out on November 13th, Clash invited TRAAMS to name some of the Influences running through their new album.
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Kraftwerk - 'Trans-Europe Express'
One of the best headphone listens that'll probably ever be made, as effective on the road as it is sat at home, sticking this record on is an all encompassing event of a listen. Heavenly, sinister, lucid, tormenting, an electronic class-act of a record which impressively bridges the gap between Stockhausen and Afrika Bambaataa.
Forward-thinking production embellished with fluttering musical urgency and a distinct cultural personality, this record is amazing. Though this is but one of many amazing Kraftwerk records, no other displays such controlled confidence, cut-throat execution and authority as 'Trans-Europe Express' does. I (Padley) love it and kept that musical restraint in the back of my mind when recording 'Modern Dancing'.
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Wilco - 'A Ghost Is Born'
So, so good - I love how Wilco don't seem to give a shit about what "sort" of band they are and this comes across in spades on this album. The songwriting is classy and brave, poppy and weird. There's hints of influences and nods to other genres but it always still Wilco. The fact there's a 10 minute drone slap bang in the middle of the album is so uncompromising, beautiful, unnerving and sorta funny at the same time.
'Company In My Back' is one of my (Stu) favourite songs ever and I was totally rinsing this album whilst we were recording 'Modern Dancing', I hope you can tell. (Side note, there's a framed Wilco drawing up in Suburban Home studios).
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Spiritualized - 'Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space'
On the way up to Leeds to record the album we took a bunch of stuff to play in the car and this was in there. I (Stu) remember buying this record when it came out (pill packet that you had to pierce open) and it hasn't dated at all. It was perfect then and it is perfect now. I love the themes and the repetition on this album, the guitars are amazing, there's brutal horns, crazy jazz, layered loops, pop melodies and great lyrics.
I've always assumed that Jason Pierce wrote it as a block of music. I don't know if that's true, but if it isn't I'm gonna pretend he did. There's a feeling and cohesion that runs entire album and it's wonderful.
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Yes - 'Close To The Edge'
Put simply, this piece of work is utterly spellbinding. As inwardly pronounced as it is purposefully flambouyant the meat of this record took me (Padley) a little time to digest. Complete with their most celebrated line-up, this is the sound of five impeccable musicians shooting the shit, a condensed fanfare seemingly over before you know it, the sound of five heads banging together.
The amount of ideas on this record pile skyward, tethered seemlessly like nothing I've heard elsewhere 'Close To The Edge' is a clear masterpiece in its field. The sense of teamwork and the untouchable bass melodies were a big influence on me when recording 'Modern Dancing'.
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The Beach Boys - 'Pet Sounds'
Even though new, brilliant music is released every single day, 'Pet Sounds' has been sat at the top of my (Padley) list for a good decade now. Brian Wilson and his Beach Boys managed to make a timeless classic back in 1966, a record so impactful you can see its influence transcend genre as it continuously picks up new fans. What a journey this record has had.
The chemistry between Brian and guest lyricist Tony Asher couldn't have been more perfect. The coupling of the innocent melodies and lyrics arm this record with an unrivalled charm. Its acclaim is titanic due to its long reach, tear-inducing emotional clarity, pioneering studio techniques and brave yet instinctive musical arrangements. I'm sure this is the desert island disc for many, many music fans worldwide. Never not an influence, whatever I'm up to.
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'Modern Dancing' will be released on November 13th.