May 2002 • Rockbites Alternative Daily

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Tram’s quiet, florid melodrama gets more beautiful
21 May 2002
Tram retain a theatrical distance from the sadness they depict.

London slo-core duo Tram (vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/composer Paul Anderson with drummer Nick Avery, both previously performing members with London sad-core band Broken Dog, and before that in punk band Bin Hoker) release today for the US on New York’s Jetset records their third album of quiet, florid, and lovely melodrama titled A Kind Of Closure. The set, in its nearly pure black packaging, appeared a couple of weeks ago for the UK on London’s Setanta label.
    First and second glance reveal Tram inhabiting the intersection of Robin Guthrie & Siobhan De Maré’s Violet Indiana, with Kurt Wagner’s Nashville-based Lambchop—that is, the intersection of lush, jazzy, and understated evocation of heartbreak with adventurous and unpredictable musical explorations.
    But as the music on A Kind Of Closure starts to sink in, its emotional dudgeon succumbs to the outright prettiness of the arrangements—leaving you looking safely through a curtained window at the candlelit, tragic stories unfolding in the songs.
    A Kind Of Closure follows Tram’s stark 1999 debut Heavy Black Frame, and last year’s self-produced/home-taped Frequently Asked Questions. For the new LP the band worked over the winter in real studios in London with French producer Dimitri Tikovoi (Placebo, Michael J Sheehy, John Cale) and a dozen guest musicians—including former Cocteau Twins programmer/producer Simon Raymonde on keyboards (piano, Rhodes, and Mellotron), and a small orchestra led by violinist/composer Fiona Brice.
    The safe remove of Anderson’s delivery from the images he paints lets you choose exactly how close, or not, you want to get to this sadness. Come for the melancholia, stay for the grace. Three bites out of five.

Rockbites ratings  5: life changing, 4: stunning, 3: captivating, 2: amusing, 1: annoying.

| Tram | | Tram on Jetset records | | Setanta records | | Broken Dog | | Tram CD from Amazon US | | discography | | top of page |


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