Tram

Jetset

This is another one of those drifty, downbeat records that sound just great as long as you’re not really listening to them. You’re cleaning the house, maybe, and want something that’s there for you when you shut the vacuum off, or you’re half-napping in the afternoon but don’t want to feel that the day will be shot if you never quite make it to dreamland, or you’re recycling newspapers and want to skim a few stories you never got around to reading but you know you shouldn’t save….A little mopish mood music, maestro. Tram is the brainchild of guitarist Paul Anderson and drummer Nick Avery, a couple of lapsed London punks who don’t know any good horn players or that harmonicas come in keys. Anderson also doesn’t know that if you can’t sing pretty and can’t sing falsetto, you shouldn’t just wing it. (Sorry, lads, but I’ve got to pay attention sometime.) So he comes across like a Dean Wareham-brand tea biscuit that has soaked for too long in warm milk. Sadcore goes SADcore (Social Anxiety Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder—take your pick) on tracks such as “Giving Up” and “Social Disease.” “Then you cry, then you cry, from all your self-hatred, your self-hatred, your self-hatred, your self-hatred,” Anderson tenderly confesses on the latter, his “you”s meaning, of course, I and I. There’s nothing wrong with Frequently Asked Questions that a few capable sessioneers and a busted vocal mike wouldn’t fix. But, then, you’ve got your own worries, haven’t you? —Glenn Dixon