Always nice to have some Taurus Trakker on the player and this their fourth long player is possibly their most accomplished piece thus far. It gets Mick Jones (yeah he of the Clash) to handle the production as they proceed to groove and shake the listener with their hypnotic bluesy punk rock ‘n’ roll. Inextricably linked with Ladbrook Grove and the surrounding part of West LondonTaurus Trakker follow on from what Jones and his old band used to knock out from this part of the Capital. For those joining us for the first time, a brief introduction would be this; these cats ply a trade in blues-based rock ‘n’ roll that has a heap of groove and swing and they write songs that would get your heart pumping if you were to happen upon them in some late night bar on the wrong side of town and there is an honesty with their lyrics that tell tales from the streets that they walk upon and social and economic ideals that are honest and worthy.
Whilst it’s still the same loose rock ‘n’ roll vibe happening its clear they are tighter as a unit and the production is a lot sharper on this album compared to previous offerings as well. Having had their studio taken away by property developers in their part of town and then the fire at Grenfell Tower Taurus and their sense of community came to the fore with a lot of who they are bleeds into what they do and if you’re looking for the sound of West London and Ladbrook Grove then Taurus Trakker are it.
I think maybe one thing Mick Jones has been able to get the band to do is shorten the songs and tighten them up and reach a climax rather than jam them out into a lot longer which helps with the impact of the tunes. ‘Vibe On Me’ is a good example of this. Taurus has always been a band I like to hear what singer Martin is saying and regardless of what he’s saying I’m paying attention God he might be reading out the terms and conditions of his railcard but I want to know about it.
I love the raw energy and spirit of ‘Letter To Elvis’ and its a step or hip shake in the right direction even if the content saddens me because Martins right you know. Its a progression from the last ‘Death Coaching’ album and possibly contains their finest work to date (it is in my opinion anyway)
Their mashing up of the blues with punk rock attitude has them rocking with a unique vibe and songs like ‘To Much Sugar’ demonstrate this perfectly well and the heavy blues of ‘Uncool Jack’ will also underline this theory. Having said all that if these guys were from New York or Chicago you wouldn’t bat an eyelid and would say how cool their vibes are and their gritty working-class rock n roll is in the moment and catches the spirit of community and Taurus Trakker is the sound of people who are proud of where they come from and where their roots lock them into. Check out ‘All Shook Up Again In W10’ its got a bunch of great tunes and you’d be a fool to pass up this invitation to check em out.