Tracer: Spaces In Between Album Review
I woke up today and found this album in my inbox. Read the band biography, and thought, “Oh well, another AC/DC Rose Tattoo sound alike Australian band”! Opened up the link to listen, with a small degree of reservation and, WTF!!!!!! Is there a mad scientist in Australia that has been mixing the D.N.A. of Velvet Revolver with Queens of The Stone Age? As well as adding bluesy, beer driven attitude in great measure? Well, if there is, he is onto a good thing. Tracer are most definitely the next big thing to explode from the shores of Oz.
Grunge/Stoner rock at its best, from the lead track, Too Much, which is going to be the first single from the album, through to the last track, Wont Let it Die (Run Mary), you are taken on a 12 track ride that will not let you off without a fight
With a sound reminiscent of 90′s grunge/stoner rock mixed with the everlasting bravado of 70′s classic rock, Tracer is a driving, sonic sledgehammer of massive guitars, clever hooks and raw uncompromising vocals. Forming out of the ashes of blues prodigy band The Brown Brothers in 2004, Michael (Vocals and guitar) and Leigh Brown (Vocals and Bass) teamed up with drummer Andre Wise to make Tracer. With 2 independent releases, 2 international tours and now a record contract under their belt, Tracer is a band that takes every little chance, every crazy idea, and commits everything they have to it.
During 2008 and 2009 Tracer took on an extensive touring schedule with multiple trips to Melbourne, a swag of successful Adelaide shows including a capacity crowd at the Australian album launch for their second critically acclaimed mini-album “L.A.?”
2009 also saw the band share the stage with Little Red, Children Collide, The John Steel Singers and Cassette Kids among others. In late 2009 Tracer set off and toured Europe for three and a half months taking in Germany, the Netherlands, U.K., Denmark, Switzerland and Czech. Tracer also toured as part of The Great Australian Wave (as a showcase at PopKomm in Germany).
Upon returning from Europe the band got busy writing new songs and developing their live show. Demand from overseas led the band to recording 3 new songs to compliment the release of ‘L.A.?’ in Europe. ‘L.A.?’ was met with countless praising reviews in German magazines and an expression of interest from Mascot Records in the Netherlands. Due to the success of the 2009 European tour and an increasing demand from overseas, Tracer played Europe once more with a showcase performance at Germany’s new format PopKomm Music Conference in Berlin. From this performance the band set off on a string of dates throughout Germany, Czech, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK.
The band recently finished recording their debut LP to be released on Mascot’s Cool Green Recordings on October 3rd 2011 which will be followed by another international tour.
You could almost imagine Tracer being at home in a bar playing their brand of stoner to a crowd of boozed up metal heads, and letting their music do the talking. From the opener, which is as best as you’ll ever hear in modern stoner/grunge music, through tracks that will either grab you by the throat with attitude, or have you looking into your beer glass with fond memories of the good times.
The opening track Too Much is worthy of being described as “throat grabbing”. When it starts, you are drawn to the similaritys to Velvet Revolver, and Scott Weiland in his Stone Temple Pilot days. As I stated before, a worthy choice as the first single. You are then on a trip through 11 more tracks, each as good as your going to get from a young band, who sound like they have been around for years.
As you listen to each track, you can hear plenty of influences from the afore mentioned Velvet Revolver, and, QOTSA. But that is where the similaritys end. Tracer bring their own brand of attitude and balls, which is rare nowadays in new bands, to each track. the problem I find with bands from Australia, is that they have the stigmata of being compared to AC/DC even before they have been heard. So it is refreshing to have a band like Tracer who, like Wolfmother, are bringing a whole new sound from Australia.
So, if you like stoner/grunge in the vein of VR and QOTSA, then this album is a definate must for your collection.
This gets a Pitbullian rating of 8/10.