Sharp as a migraine and twice as psychedelic. There is something about Trupa Trupa’s music that borders on an interface with pain - sometimes the vocals and guitar are all treble and daggers, for instance - but then there’s that anaesthetic cushion of organ and the rolling sighs of the rhythms and melodies. Trupa Trupa’s music teeters between a yawn and a shriek. It sways but does not stumble. There is something almost threatening about the way it affects to lose control at moments when you know full well that it never under any less but the most precise and steely control of its creators.
These four men from Gdansk make rock music that swells with a tension and release and tension so exquisitely executed that it wouldn’t be incorrect to think of it as symphonic, except you don’t want to say that - symphonic - because it conjures wrongheaded ideas of early 00s crescendo rock, and this is probably the opposite of whatever it is Sigur Ros were.
Rather, this is the noise you could imagine four 20th Century minimal composers making (Schoenburg? Stravinsky? Satie? Part?) if they had electric instruments instead of sheet music and a grudge instead of an audience.
Though they brandish words in these compositions that for the sake of a tedious argument we will call songs it is with the same economy and brutality that they deploy guitar, bass, drums and keys. Everything is sparse and happening at once. Those repetitive grids of words and tones are in agreement but offer no clues.
Whereas a lot of Blue Tapes music is acquainted with pain in that it sounds formulated to be a respite from it, Trupa Trupa’s music sounds like it has gorged on pain to the point of delirium. Why else would it float in such a numbed-out haze that only appears to obey its own internal logic? It is a sound that feels like it has pushed itself to the point of exhaustion, simply so that it can get off on the trippiness that transgression engenders.
This could be the most vicious music this label has ever released. At least one person has described it as sounding like Faust. The band themselves say their noise is inspired by Sonic Youth, Slint and Swans. It was recorded in a synagogue and an abandoned marine machinery plant.
Praise for Headache:
"In a year that indie rock seemed to be fully and completely dead, Headache by the Polish band Trupa Trupa seemed to revive some life in the bloated genre. Located somewhere between Clinic, Can and Louisville KY's barbed take on American post-punk, Headache is a pulverizing and sonically enveloping record that encapsulates the actual potential of four guys with guitar, bass, keys, drums and real ideas can deliver on. Buy this." -Tome To The Weather Machine, best of 2015 list
"This album from Trupa Trupa comprises always clever, often beautiful, and at times very angry guitar music that defies definition. Razor-edged no wave rumblings, anguished Bad Seed shanties, sopping wet blue-eyed soul ballads - Trupa Trupa touch on it all. The result is their first moment of true greatness. This is incredible work." - The Quietus
"I have to admit that it’s been a while since a rock band was able to give me that real “woah” factor... But Trupa Trupa circles around concrete songs, stretching and plying them into dazzling displays of sonic architecture that immediately stopped me in my tracks. It’s 2015, everyone, and did you hear? Bands are back in a big way, and Trupa Trupa is hands-down among the very best of them." - Tiny Mix Tapes
"Blue Tapes' recent releases have been pretty spectacular. The latest is no exception. It’s rare that Blue Tapes have flirted with anything as conventional as a guitar band, but then Trupa Trupa are not your conventional guitar band. This four piece from Gdansk funnel US no wave influences through a kind of psychological pain tunnel, making this album’s title of Headache all the more apt." - Louder Than War
“Now, this LP from Gdansk's Trupa Trupa is good. Really good… a sludgy growling rock sound that trundles around the outer wall of your consciousness, looking for the way in. It's a real mix of sounds; an old Soft Machine bootleg, a Speed Glue & Shinki jam at half speed, Tarwater, American Music Club maybe; and a whole heap of zombiefied Gothic arcana.” - Incendiary Magazine
"Headache sets up a number of challenges for the listener, as well as providing moments of sheer beauty and wonderment, the kind of which is all too scarce these days." -Famous Last Words
"Headache is simply a great record... you will be begging to get to Gdansk and see these guys in person, rope them into being your theme music band, and have them follow you around every day in real time, scoring your failures, triumphs and ennui. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Headache." - Sonic Masala
"The nagging nine-minute title track is a psychedelic epic in every sense, and explodes into a cataclysmic crescendo that sustains for what feels like an eternity, a raging inferno of sound. Cracking stuff. 8/10" - Whisperin' and Hollerin'
"Trupa Trupa's mesmerising guitar-driven sounds are just the right kind of bizarre." - The Ran$om Note
"Trupa Trupa use unconventional sounds, chord progressions, and structures, to dismantle expectations. And just when you think you’ve got the hang of what they are doing, there’s 'Sacrifice', a drowsy, jangling reverbed gem that, for the most part, is left intentionally untarnished." - Stereo Subversion
"...this is a challenging but inspiring listen. This is the sound of an exciting new band deserving of attention." - Haydon Spenceley
"Both sentimental and heavy, somewhere betwixt the three popular flavors of grunge, classic rock, and emo, I bet that if I heard these guys in my teens, I’d have euphorically shat my pants." - Cassette Gods
"A curious mix of Swans-like gothic psychedelia and Slint post-rock, with a smattering of Germanic influence. Despite the over-the-top hyperbole in the PR blurb which includes phrases like 'Sharp as a migraine', '...gorged on pain to the point of delirium', this curious little album is anything but headache-inducing, and is in fact quite trippy." - Dutch Progressive Rock Page