Can something be edgy and boring at the same time? I found myself asking this question often while I listened to Trinine, the latest album from New Zealand rock outfit Bailterspace. Sure, the distorted guitars and rumbling bass lines were there, but I didn’t find myself inherently interested. Instead, I was left battling to pay attention to the ambient noise-rock haze.
The album is repetitive, but not in any sort of precise, minimalistic fashion. It is not just static, it is stagnant. Songs wind on for minutes without variation, their slightly grungy tones quickly growing tiresome. Then as a track fades out, a new, yet still unremarkable one begins. And the few times a new line is introduced, such as a plucky guitar figure on the track “Tri5,” it lacks a captivating contour. Other times (“Open”), there are shrill and ceaseless guitar figures that add slight agitation to the monotony.
Perhaps the record could be saved with a redeeming vocal or lyric performance. However, the vocals are nowhere near prominently featured, almost rendering the songs instrumental. Even when the singer is noticeable, it is to a mixed reaction. The words are hardly intelligible and the voice is unspectacular.
So Trinine masquerades itself as having edge rather than truly being something of consequence. Underneath the façade we find that boring is boring and little can be done to change that.