Trailer Trash Tracys - Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Sun 15 Jan 2012
Effects-laden shoegaze fog heavy on the exquisite melodrama
Not, as you might have expected from the name, a clan of bad-mouthin’, whisky-swillin’ Midwestern girls battering badly-tuned guitars and trying to resurrect the lost souls of L7 or The Distillers, Trailer Trash Tracys are instead three guys and a girl from London whose revivalist brand of effects-laden shoegaze fog is heavy on the exquisite melodrama. It deserved more than the modest crowd taking advantage of free entry on a Sunday night, although at least in the Captain’s Rest’s darkened basement it had a venue to match the murky atmosphere the band create.
Guitarist Jimmy-Lee, bassist Adam J and drummer Dayo are as cagey and equivocal as their only half-revealed names imply, keeping their heads down and making a beautiful noise with all the unassuming grace of technicians going about their business. Instead, singer Susanne Aztoria is the attention magnet, a role she just about carries off. Demure in a red woollen hat with a few wisps of blonde fringe visible beneath the brim, her icy thousand-yard stare is the key element of a performance which is undemonstrative and possibly a little shy. That suits the music, though, a wispy squall that’s vampishly mature and the sound of not being asked to dance at your school disco all at once.
There’s something about seeing and hearing these songs performed live which subtracts from the dream-like abstraction of their recorded versions, yet Aztoria’s voice is still pleasingly otherworldly on key tracks like ‘You Wish You Were Red’ and ‘Candy Girl’, each coming in like ‘Wicked Game’ and going out as though they’ve been fed through Slowdive’s amps and effects pedals. There’s also a certain uniformity of style at play, but new textures find their way in – the constant noodling guitar signature of ‘Engelhardt’s Arizona’, for example, or the ever-present snap of a drum machine offset against the waves of analogue sound.
As ‘Turkish Heights’ bleeds from a weird end of the night waltz into an accelerating clash of cymbals and guitars, the impression is that this isn’t the kind of band who will grab an audience by the throat and demand their undivided attention. Rather they’re the kind which seeps into your heart through continued exposure to their often electrifying recorded music (see their recent debut album Ester on Domino subsidiary Double Six) and which establishes a live connection through warm familiarity as much as anything else.