B FLAT A
When a band’s name roughly translates to “Corpse Corpse” from Polish to English, I think it’s fair to say their musical output isn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows. With a backdrop moulded by Covid-19 and Central Europe’s chequered past, Trupa Trupa’s sixth LP ‘B FLAT A’ delves into the macabre side of the human psyche. Singer Grzegorz Kwiatkowski sums up his band’s new album by stating it’s “the wasteland of human nature where hatred and genocide are not just distant reverberations of Central European history but still resonate in contemporary reality.” Speaking of how the pandemic influenced the four piece’s new work, the frontman explains “Covid affected us. So our dark stuff was in my opinion even darker because of this super strange, frightening atmosphere all around us and inside of us.”
When you take ‘B FLAT A’s austere subject matter and wrap it around Trupa Trupa’s uncompromisingly dense and sinister post-punk-meets-psyche-rock-with-a-sprinkling-of-eerie-ambience, you get an album that’s unflinchingly intense and a product of years of paranoia and unrest. For the lion’s share of the LP, a fog of claustrophobia and intensity hangs large, with churning bass amalgamating with motorik drums and guitars that grind and wail, there’s little room for light to penetrate the stark gloom the band emit. Kwiatkowski’s vocals add to the feeling of woozy unease, as most of the time they’re indiscernible against the band’s din.
There is some wordplay that comes through with clarity on a clutch of tracks, with Kwiatkowski declaring “I want to eat all my uniforms”, supposedly a take on rebelling against authoritarianism, on the track ‘Uniforms’. The death trudge of ‘Lit’ has the band’s vocalist slurring “don’t be shy/don’t be ashamed” and “don’t hide/don’t be ashamed” as if to goad someone about emotional distress. The druggy-whirr of ‘Far Away’ documents a feeling of disconnection as Kwiatkowski trills “I’m here/you’re far away”. The formless slow spiral of doom that is “All and All” contains one of the more direct gut punch lyrics to be found on ‘B FLAT A’, with the band’s main man stating “I’m going to breakdown”, as a loose jam unfurls around him.
Aside from Trupa Trupa’s stark intensity, there are pockets of respite that present themselves via dizzy swathes of psychedelia that help dissipate the record’s foreboding storm clouds. Even then, these dreamy vignettes come from a place of sorrow and distress that straddle the realms of lucidity and nightmarishness.
‘B FLAT A’ is the product of current times, a record that flits from pleading escapism to wide-eyed torment.
Order B FLAT A by Trupa Trupa HERE