“A true celebration of the grandiose, anthemic and breathtakingly fun hard rock music of the 1980s, Trapper brings together two of Canada’s brightest creative lights in a project that neither parrots nor parodies the genre that left an indelible stamp on millions of fans and pop culture.” Well, when you start off a bio like that you had better be able to back it up is all I can say! Oh wait, they certainly can back it up. Trapper is the melding of the minds between guitarist/songwriter Sean Kelly whose resume includes working with not only big names in “Canadian Rock Royalty” such as Helix, Honeymoon Suite, Lee Aaron, Carl Dixon (Coney Hatch), but also Gilby Clarke (Guns ‘N Roses) and Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne) and Emm Gryner who is a powerfully evocative singer/songwriter with 18 solo albums to her credit and admirers around the world, including the likes U2‘s Bono, Def Leppard singer Joe Elliot, David Bowie (for whom she performed as part of his backing band for a number of years) and Nelly Furtado (for whom Kelly has been the guitarist since 2009). You may also know Sean Kelly‘s name as the author of the 2014 book Metal on Ice which looked at the largely under-appreciated hard rock and heavy metal scene in Canada. The Metal On Ice book and the resulting EP had a big impact for Decibel Geek writer Wallygator Norton: Metal On Ice-October 22 is Now Hoser Heavy Metal Day
The listening link sent to me by Sean Kelly himself began with “Your Love”. Not sure at first what I would be listening to with Trapper, just knowing I was a Sean Kelley fan, I was surprised to hear this cover version of the 1985 hit by The Outfield. I must say Gryner really does have a captivating voice and it really does sound like she’s putting everything she has into this song. “Technology Killed Our Love”, what I believe is an original song, is up next and has the guitar talents and sounds of Mr. Kelly more in the forefront, a great accompaniment to Gryner‘s vocal prowess. Probably the pick of the litter for me here. In the third slot we find “The Warrior”, another cover, and basically just a great song that always gives me the feeling of summer (something Trapper are trying to do according to the press release, well it actually really worked well for me!). Did you know that this song was originally recorded by a band called Scandal and not Pat Benetar, it always surprises me how many people don’t actually know that. Following that we get “Grand Bender”, a groovy little rocker and another original composition written by Kelly and Gryner. While it’s catchy in some respects and I can relate to some of the lyrical subject matter, there’s something about it that I just don’t take to personally. I’ve included the official lyric video below, so let me know what you think. “Lonely Hearts”, another hook-laden original, finishes off the five track Go For The Heart EP in fine fashion, the whole affair holding up to Trapper‘s aim to “bring that sense of grandeur and energy that made 1980’s rock so much fun and such a positive experience for so many people.”
Sean Kelly says: “Trapper is neither a tribute act nor a cover band, but a truly organic creative force that will continue to write and record original material with that distinctly 1980s hard rock vibe, as well offering up their interpretations of other ‘lost’ 1980s rock gems. And the 1980s mentality is going to permeate every aspect of the band’s presentation.” Awesome. Earlier in May Trapper had a marvelous opportunity to open up for Def Leppard on some Canadian tour dates including Ottawa, Montreal and London and surely more high profile gigs are on the horizon. I look forward to hearing more of this “feel-good” band in the future and now that they’re on my radar, hopefully, a live experience is in my future!