Fifty Four Square Foot Trampoline That Simple

Fifty Four Square Foot Trampoline want to remain an enigma, the review copy of their album shipping with a press release written almost entirely in French and their website, though warning surfers of its "game,” is one of the most frustrating places in cyberspace. Their album is thankfully less cryptic; That Simple opens with a pair of mournful, mellow ballads with vocals reminiscent of mopey slow-paced college rock tracks of the mid-’90s. The three-piece construct their songs primarily using guitars and drums, creating a sparse sound that uses dissidence and loose rhythms to form its melodies. Though there are some noted exceptions, "I Guess We Fucked Things Up?” finds the group successfully experimenting with soundscapes and dreamier atmospheres. Meanwhile, "The Plastic Tunnel” breaks up the otherwise moody pace with an engaging female-fronted number. The disc picks up for the latter half of the surprisingly rocking "Make It Warm Enough,” though the vocalist still manages to somehow keep his voice cautiously restrained throughout. While far from a perfect disc, there are some interesting musical moments on That Simple, from the occasionally grungy guitars to the airy vocals to the infectious sadness. Unfortunately new fans will undoubtedly find it difficult to learn anything about the band, which may make them turn away before giving them a honest chance. Songs are important, but ultimately so is marketing and accessibility. (Hill Billy Stew)