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Trapt’s new album “No Apologies” good, not great

Claire Stephens | Tuesday, October 12, 2010

With Papa Roach’s concert at Club Fever a few weeks ago came Trapt, the band formed by high school students in California with a love of hard rock. Today marks the release of their fourth studio album, “No Apologies,” released under the Eleven Seven label and produced by John Karkazis. The album was originally scheduled for release on Sept. 14, but several singles from the album have been available on iTunes and the band’s official site between July and September.


The band’s four current members include Chris Taylor Brown (lead singer), Peter Charell (bass guitarist), Aaron “Monty” Montgomery (drums), and Robb Torres (lead guitarist).  The album’s 12 new songs cover variations of heavy and alternative metal, with many songs that would be tame enough for mainstream.


Despite the heavy bass and guitar characteristics of the genre, Brown’s singing remains clear with very little of the gruffer, rougher and louder vocalizing normally needed to keep up with the instrumentalists. Though maybe a bit predictable musically and mainstream sounding rock for dedicated heavy metal fans, the album overall doesn’t blast the more milder of rock fans out of their chairs.


Trapt explores the mellower side of metal in both music and lyrics in “Are You With Me,” “Beautiful Scar” and somewhat in the album’s title song, “No Apologies.” Brown’s solid vocals make the lyrics easy to follow, and perhaps surprising to those not fans of heavy metal, the lyrics are rather meaningful. Particularly applying to their teenage and young adult audience, behind all the songs are messages of acceptance of others and one’s own identity.


“Get Up,” “Head Up” and “Rope,” are all songs about keeping at it when the going gets rough, and are each slightly different from “Sound Off” and “Overloaded,” which sound and are written like one might expect from the average heavy metal band. With some exceptions, the music generally begins to sound the same, with songs tending not only to sound the same but also to have the same themes. It is not a bad purchase, but not a must have either; a better option would be to download the singles one likes individually instead of buying the whole album.


A balance between the blasting, energetic, screaming sounds of very heavy metal and the familiar sounds of more popular, conventional rock make it a decent listen for someone seeking a bit of edge in their regular rock or a metal fan seeking a more watered down alternative metal.