With a sound that is bluesy, rootsy, lowdown and simultaneously uplifting, ‘Building Ten’ sees Taurus Trakker in good form with a collection of songs that celebrate the simple things in life. The first three tracks set the scene for an album which manages to offer a varied yet cohesive sound, sometimes even within one song: Opener ‘Lucky’ begins not unlike the sort of thing you’d find on a solo album by Tyla from the Dogs D’Amour, then changes direction with some Peter Green style guitar licks, before a breakdown reminiscent of ‘Green Manalishi’. What we have here are ten tracks of stripped-down blues rock with some punky London accent lead vocals, augmented in places by saxophone and soulful backing vocals. As you’d hope, there’s some raunchy slide guitar dealt out on a few of the songs, and unlike many contemporary blues acts, Taurus Trakker manage to avoid ever sounding overly generic. Punk fans might be interested to note that vocalist/guitarist Martin Muscatt is a cousin of The Clash’s Mick Jones, who makes a guest appearance on the title track. Meanwhile, drummer Alison Phillips has previously served time in Alternative TV, UT, and the Raincoats. Overall, a fine modern blues album that celebrates the old and offers something new.
Review by Alex Eruptor
Bonus Content: Q&A with Martin Muscatt, guitar and lead vocals
1) The history of the band is pretty much rooted in punk and alternative music, what inspired you to get so bluesy with Taurus Trakker?
Martin: Allison and I share a deep love of the blues. She learned drums playing along to blues tracks. John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Furry Lewis, Bo Diddley- those musicians are the truth. All the music we dig comes from the blues- even punk rock in its pure form.
2) Taurus Trakker sounds like a good ‘live’ band. Where have you played/toured so far, and what have been the most memorable shows and why??
Mostly London, a few provincial gigs, and a short tour in New York. Most memorable was playing at Mick Jones' residency The Carbon Casino in Ladbroke Grove- that’s where we first really connected with an audience that got into what we do. Also, Brooklyn was a good vibe- we met some great people at the gigs there.
3) Word association..... give your thoughts on the following bands/artists in one sentence or less:
· Peter Green Finely tuned genius with a golden touch.
· RL Burnside The deep Yin/Yang of blues, updating the form while keeping the tradition.
· Mississipi Fred McDowell Human rhythm machine with a slide.
· Dr Feelgood A lesson in how to attack a telecaster and make people jump about.
· The Bermondsey Joyriders That's a cool name.
4) Many people know the word ‘Taurus’ as a sign in the Zodiac. Rate the following astrologically inspired songs on a scale of 1 (awful) – 10 (awesome):
· Motorhead ‘Capricorn’ (7)
· Deep Purple ‘Maybe I’m a Leo’ (5)
· Fifth Dimension ‘Age of Aquarius’ (3)
· The Velvet Underground ‘Venus in Furs’ (9)
· Rainbow ‘Star Gazer’ (1)
· Iron Maiden ‘Moonchild’ (1)
· Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction ‘Planet Girl’ (5)
5) You meet the devil at the crossroads and he challenges you to a guitar dual. Which song from your latest album do you play in order to kick his arse all the way back to the bowels of hell?
Bag For Life
6) What’s next and where can people find you online?
Whats next is more recording, which we have started- its all sounding good so far, more gigs to come... you can find us at http://www.taurustrakker.co.uk
Photo: www.nikkiq.com / www.unit2london.co.uk