Someone in Control

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Trapt's 2002 debut played out as a string of massaged post-grunge moments broken up by knots of affected screaming and band saw guitar. "Headstrong" and "Still Frame" made an impression on modern rock radio, but the quartet's take on 21st century southern California proto-metal (Incubus, Linkin Park, and Hoobastank being the standard bearers) was much too template-specific to really resonate. It sounded like a blueprint. Even their name, Trapt, read like market research, a monosyllabic summation of adolescent discontent, extreme sports, and jabs to the solar plexus. Released in 2005, Someone in Control is at least a little more promising. Trapt is still, well, trapped inside their rigid sound. The music echoes in the verses as Chris Brown emotes lines like "I wonder why the less I get the more I give," and then erupts as he roars into each song's moment-defining couplet: "Too out of touch to touch you," "Use me to use you," or "You've gone as far as I'll go." But "Disconnected (Out of Touch)," "Waiting," and "Influence" succeed at constricting that sound, building some internal tension that gives Trapt some life outside their formula. "Lost Realist" is also strong. It's kind of obvious, especially when the strings come in, but its meshing of Goo Goo Dolls plaintiveness with typical post-grunge crackle counts as a progression for Trapt.

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