"Only Through the Pain…"

(Eleven Seven Music 2008)Trapt - Only Through the Pain…

You know why people (read: me) can’t keep to a diet? It’s the unimaginative, boring food one is forced to eat day after day. Cheesesteaks, water ice, calories and sugar = fun. Brown rice, fish, and broccoli = a chore. I don’t listen to the radio for the same reason I can’t stick to a diet. I just can’t stomach the thought of listening to the same bland music day in and day out. Three albums into their career, and Trapt have firmly entrenched themselves into the menu being served by our friends the DJs, usually sandwiched between similar dishes such as Seether and Shinedown.

Album opener “Wasteland” is surprisingly easy to swallow. It’s typical Trapt fare, but notions of mediocrity get swept away by the track’s propulsive, infectious energy. This tasty appetizer, however, is the prelude to a forgettable meal. Disappointingly, the band revisits highly familiar territory, checking off the list of clichéd motifs as they go; these clean verse/tough chorus snoozers and powerless ballads are completely indistinguishable from not only each other but from every other song clogging the arteries of rock radio. There are a couple more delectable morsels hiding in the tasteless stew, though. “Cover Up” is a powerful, foot-stomping burner, while “Forget About the Rain” finds the band channeling their inner Sublime with a coolly bopping ska/reggae/rock mash-up.

It would have been nice if Trapt had sprinkled in more exotic flavors rather than relying so heavily on their already familiar palette (yeah, I know, I’m tired of the food analogy too). There are a few unique, imaginative songs on “Only Through the Pain…”; Trapt are clearly capable of making more interesting music than their contemporaries. If they’re willing to expand their creative horizons a little farther, future releases could certainly deserve a healthy sampling.


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