THE TRYPES - Music For Neighbors
If the Trypes were mentioned at all in the past three decades or so, it was as a footnote to the Feelies story; all of the Feelies, at one point or another, were also in the Trypes. But this compilation, out now on the ever-excellent Acute Records, shows once and for all that the Trypes were a great band in their own right. Collecting their only official release, the four-song The Explorers Hold EP, and adding a wealth of unreleased material, Music For Neighbors is easily one of the best, most necessary reissues of 2012.
The whole thing kicks off, as it should, with The Explorers Hold EP, four songs that I’ve only heard previously via scratchy vinyl rips. The quality of the EP shone through even amidst the pops and the skips, but now everyone can groove to the hi-fi sounds of the Trypes. It’s a heavenly slice of Garden State pastoral, with gently moody woodwinds, hypnotic keyboards and chanted vocals wafting through the mix. The volume is cranked for a pounding cover of George Harrison’s eastern-tinged “Love You To” — which I will submit is indeed Better Than The Beatles. There’s some of the acoustic-but-not-quite-mellow vein that the Feelies would mine later in the 80s (especially on “The Undertow,” which was re-recorded for Only Life), but again, the Trypes are doing their own wondrous thing here. The cleaned up, remastered sound only emphasizes what a blissed-out, lovingly layered recording this is.
From there, we move onto a lone, long unavailable compilation track and a number of demos, live captures and rehearsal tapes. Though the fidelity of these suffers somewhat in comparison to The Explorers Hold, the overall quality does not — this is all great stuff. Many of these heretofore unheard tracks feature the Trypes’ original vocalist Elbrus Kelemet, whose stylings sound a bit like Jonathan Richman trying David Byrne’s neuroses on for size. Later recordings see the band expanding their palette a bit with the sinister, distorted thump of “Dark Continents” and “Life History,” the latter of which features an insane closing guitar solo from Glenn Mercer.
As usual, Acute has done a bang-up job here — Music For Neighbors is perfectly put together, and includes great essays from band members and #1 fan Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo. Now we just need Acute to do the same for Yung Wu! And the Willies! And …
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