The Trapps’ sophomore effort feeds off of the old mountains and deep roots that surround their New Paltz home. In the same vein, the new album, Cheap Seats, a mix of classic rock, Americana, and adult alternative, doesn’t break new ground, but fervently embraces the stylings of great folk rockers who veered into the Summer of Love and its wistful aftermath. With songwriter and leader Sean Schenker on vocals and guitar, Warren Gold on lead guitar, Jason Sarubbi on bass, and Seth Moutal on drums, the members pride themselves on their religious support of the song. A seemingly obvious pursuit, it is nonetheless noble and shines clearly in the production of the record and its bevy of well-crafted and harmless tunes.
The instrumentation is superb, the tones are spot-on and aptly captured. The lyrical metaphors come across as clichéd at times, but are earnest and well voiced. The players, the mix, and the production all come together and succeed in delivering on standard themes of birth, death, love, and life, with a succinct dash of political awareness. Interestingly, the band’s website states that nearby “rock climbing is symbolic of the band’s approach to the limitless boundaries they are willing to explore, the risks they are willing to take when creating their music.” Ironically, if the record has one drawback, it is that it is contrived and lacks risk. It would be nice to hear some of that coarse and raw risk, from the cigarette crags and whisky berms to the ethereal and hoarse whispers of our awesome Shawangunk Ridge, mixed into the music. www.thetrapps.net