Thomas Truax: Jetstream Sunset

review truax x1 cong

Truax (pr True Axe) came out of the antifolk movement in New York in the late 90s — according to Wikipedia his contemporaries included Beck — but Truax seems to have avoided fame and followed a steam punk route. He decided that his USP (a terrible Apprentice acronym he would probably never use except ironically) would be to build instruments from scrap. Instruments such as the cadillac beatspinner wheel on the hornycater.
It won’t surprise you to learn, then, that his music is slightly off the wall: his baritone voice and style make him sound a little like They Might Be Giants or Adam Green.
This is his eighth album and the third or fourth we have heard and we have to say it is the best by a long way. It actually sounds like a serious approach at commercial success.
The lyrics are entertaining, the music lo-fi and garagey but melodic. Lyrics range from the sardonic such as in “I got no attention span / I was born American… Can you turn the channel Stan / Don’t understand Afghanistan” to the more serious: “I’m thinking now about my old school friends / Some were so bright and some so dark / How some are dead and gone already / This one goes out to you Mark.”
Despite its qualities we suspect he will remain a cult act but if you like They Might Be Giants or Mr Green at least give it a whirl on a streaming service.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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