Blitzen Trapper

Wild & Reckless


The enduring Portland rock band recently had a 28-performance run of a musical entitled Wild & Reckless…quite an achievement. And here is an album under that name. It adds new numbers to gems from their catalogue, which seems fan-friendly as a plan.

Opening cut Rebel has a somewhat eerie start with keening voices then the band falling in with intent and a solemn beat. Eric Earley has fabulous diction and puts this Petty-style tale over well. Measured Lead guitar lurks in the mix. I think he must be a fan of Blood On The Tracks. Erik Menteer keeps the guitar lines just so, Brian Koch has a steady drum style here. Michal Van Pelt keeps the bass runs subtle and clearly Marty Marquis is a band keys player par excellence.

Wild & Reckless has distant echoes of John Prine as does much heartland rock. Wispy harmonica introduces another bittersweet love song. At 00.40 a U2 pelt takes over. The ensemble sure blends guitar and keys really well. The strings sound fabulous. If you like Eric Church, Mellencamp you should check this crew out soon as you can. The double-stops really sing! Forever Pt 1 uses crafted vocal harmonies over Joel piano. It’s like Brian Wilson a long, long way from the beach…

Joanna is a folky love ballad, the sort that Lucinda Williams simmers then incinerates. Earley’s vocal style does grow on the listener. No Man’s Land has the sci-fi touch that the story embraces. It tells of a boat trip and mysterious lights, tumbling into a confident mid-paced rocker with a haunting melody, with Dylanesque singing.

Stolen Hearts is definitely a step towards Neil Young acoustic territory though the vocal is very Dylan. The song is lively and the backing vocals perfect, plus neat legato guitar runs. To be frank, this song is a knockout and as good as any I have heard all year. Dance With Me is a bit of stomper, catchy and the one bit of Stonesy swagger. You’ll be humming this one on your travels ! Love Live On has a fine lilt and airy delivery, Hammond cruising along. When I’m Dying is much funkier and the beat is almost hiphop albeit Noo Awlins in mode. Man, that slide sounds ace! You dear readers are too young to recall The Radiators but they come to mind here.

Baby Won’t You Turn Me On lays back and floats along, electric piano prominent. They really sound their own men here. Forever Pt 2 is a night-time interlude and it must make sense in the context of the show, morphing into a spacey poem of sorts. Wrap-up tune Wind Don’t Always Blow breezes in and settles into a dreamy song.

You could say this act wear their influences – especially Dylan – on their sleeves a tad too boldly at times, but the love of music shines through and as a group they work really well together, allowing these quality songs to breathe and beguile.

Pete Sargeant


(Thanks to Cannonball PR)

You can watch the official music video for ‘Rebel’ in this article.

Blitzen Trapper’s new album ‘Wild & Reckless’ is out now on Lojinx.

For more information and tour dates visit the band’s official website here:

Blitzen Trapper