New single is a heartfelt romance song, but one that harms itself.
Trudy and the Romance has never been a normal band and it’s likely that it never will be. We’ve seen in the past how the band’s chaotic brand of mutant pop can work wonders when delivered perfectly, but it stands to reason that it can also fall short if it strikes the wrong balance.
Junkyard Cat, the band’s latest offering, leaves us in a grey area between the two possibilities. The song itself, at its concealed aching heart, is a deep and emotional song about love and longing. The melodies that underpin most of the song are solid enough and carry the essence of what has made the band great before.
The trouble is, the patchwork feel of the song’s instrumentation and structure undermines its own emotional weight. As the single tries to build a strong lyrical narrative, the inconsistent musical accompaniments stem the flow of coherency.
For example, the first thirty seconds alone introduce us to a gentle, emotionally-charged piano opening and a solo guitar melody that continues this effectively. It then dissolves into the usual Libertines-style chaos; a slurred main vocal not given the prominence in the mix it needs compared to the backing vocals, punctuated by erratic guitar chords that don’t continue the theme the opening riff suggested.
Therefore, when the song returns to this riff style, it brings home the point that Trudy’s own desire for the music to be mutated has shot the song in the foot. The band has certainly tapped into its weird well of chemical water, but not into the potential of Junkyard Cat.