Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)
The reputation of the Gdansk, Poland-based band Trupa Trupa has been growing steadily over the last few years. The group, led by gregarious singer and guitarist Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, has gone from self-releasing albums at the start of the decade to signing to indie label Lovitt in the U.S. (Glitterbeat in the EU) as the ‘10s draw to a close. Of the Sun draws on wider strands of what could be broadly called “21st century post-rock”—big rhythms courtesy of drummer Tomasz Pawluczuk, a bleak sense of atmosphere that borders on goth, and Rafał Wojczal’s occasional keyboards to add extra heft.
Kwiatkowski sings in English throughout, moving from smooth, even uplifting turns on songs like “Longing” to sharper spoken word bits that occasionally call to mind Mark E. Smith. There’s a dark, murky undercurrent running throughout the record; you can hear it in Wojciech Juchniewicz’s murmuring underwater bass break on the queasily pulsing “Mangle,” in the tense guitars in the roiling thunderstorm that is “Remainder,” and in the abstract, Devo-esque herky-jerk of “Turn.” There’s a sense of unsettled disorientation that comes through at other points, too, whether it’s the swooping background textures on “Another Day” or the distant backing vocals that drift through “Long Time Ago” while the band makes more nervous, raucous noise. Even the quieter moments like “Angle” or the semi-ambling lope of “Anyhow” seem like they’re sitting in the shadows of something menacing and indescribable. The epic punch of Trupa Trupa’s songs feels like it has a grimmer edge, one that betrays a sense that things may not be as you want them to be. All too apt for the current times.