It is being alone in a spacecraft, it is being the blissful upswing of a synthy mind-fuck … actually it is ‘Silent Earthling’ by Three Trapped Tigers.
Ok, so in case you aren’t clued up on the indie-synth-math-noise genre that exists somewhere just outside of the mainstream, Three Trapped Tigers are a Three piece instrumental “noise” band from London. They sound like a trip into outer space if it was organised by an actually cool maths teacher. Except what’s this?! The trip to space has been hijacked by aliens and now there’s trippy colours and lasers, then suddenly everything is ok, and it’s home time.
Whilst the album definitely holds up against the bands previous releases, It’s nothing to go crazy over either. But that’s ok. This music is never supposed to be that. It’s an audio experience that you listen to and then your life carries on. There’s an emotive dynamic of highs and lows that you’re plunging through as you listen.
This in mind, headphones are advisably turned up (sensibly of course) and allowing for the stereoscopic array of sounds to take over. One minute there is calm, a floating like experience over very real percussion, echoing and persuasive. It’s very shoe-gaze and calm, never ambient because of those percussive strikes still ricocheting amidst the oscillating sounds of synth. Then suddenly the ground gives way, it’s as though you’re in Terminator… the game… in the arcade… when you’re ten. Everything is flashing quickly. You’re gripped … hands a little sweaty on that controller, fingers hovering expertly over the chunky buttons. You’re literally seconds away from the high-score. It is exhilarating in a way that nothing will be again until you discover tequila.
The drums break into full intensity, it’s incredibly rave inspired, but math and techy too. The low end roars through, sirens of synth and alien sounds are flashing like that arcade game you remember so well in your ears. It’s intense but coherent. Then we start the dynamic change again.
Perhaps what makes ‘Silent Earthling’ best is the nostalgia of video games and now uncool dance sub-genres, but it is also for the mastery of the synth/math crossover the band have managed with this album. That nostalgia is not accidental, track titles such as ‘Rainbow Road’ remind the listener of the 8-bit background this kind of music will always be compared to.
The only criticism here then is that as a whole, it is perhaps a bit forgettable. It is 2016 and the indie listener knows by now that instrumental noise rock can be memorable and something more than an exercise in sound. A wealth of bands have given the crowd some of the best indie releases of the last few years. The glitchy ups and downs of Silent Earthling are certainly a blissful, but adrenaline fuelled journey. But at the end of this intergalactic trip, you will perhaps be left without a souvenir to hum along to.
Listen to ‘Rainbow Road’ or ‘Kraken’ for the full experience.
‘Silent Earthling’ is out now via Century Media Records
This Three Trapped Tigers article was written by Alexander Lucas, a GIGsoup contributor