The Temper Trap have been an almost-hit since 2009. Their eclectic debut album, Conditions, set their career alight, taking them from a small group of alt-rock dreamers, to an internationally appreciated pop-music unit. Their 2006 track, Sweet Disposition, was their all-access ticket to the mainstream.
The Temper Trap moseyed onstage at Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre with their long wispy hair flowing in a non-existent wind. Noise from their eager crowd ricochets through the cozy venue, building a hype I never realised existed.
Right now, The Temper Trap are known for their flying lightweight melodies and spiralling vocals. People instantly recognise their euphoric indie-pop; a sound which aims to please both the young and the old.
Their set at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, made for an interesting Fall evening. With three studio albums and over a dozen singles under their belt, you’d think this quartet could put on a show of endless hits. Instead, the set reached full potential after their four hit singles - Sweet Disposition, Love Lost, Fader and Fall Together - were over. The remainder of the show rolled downhill at a staggering pace.
The Temper Trap. Photo taken from artist Facebook page.
On multiple occasions, frontman Dougy Mandagi pushed the boundaries of his equipment a little too much; making blood seep from the mic. His face screwed on every one of those renowned falsetto notes. His voice at least has a constancy, however; smacking like a fist every time. Unfortunately, shouting louder doesn’t improve key or tone. His stage presence was wooden and his rapport non-existent.
The saving grace of this show was, undoubtedly, the rhythm section. Jonathon Aherne’s rolling bass bumbles delightfully in between Toby Dundas’ drum fills, creating droplets of psychoactive magic. In this live setting, even Joseph Greer’s lead guitar plays to the positives. Intertwining hints of synth and tambourine makes for a far more delicious output, creating a depth of sound that’s otherwise non-existent on record.
Each member of the band pulsed in harmony, bringing their own beat to the heart of a sound that should have been far more refined than it was.
Maybe in the future, The Temper Trap should concentrate on making Mandagi’s vox secondary to the music; as opposed to the music being secondary to his vox.
They started off well, but unfortunately, it seems a decade on the road has taken its toll on this 4-hit-wonder quartette.