The Temper Trap

Let's try an experiment. Put this newspaper aside right now, and see if you can name five bands based in Australia. No rush. We'll wait. If your mental rummage trawl turned up Midnight Oil and INXS, give yourself pounds—then add the Temper Trap to that list. It took the ubiquity of "Sweet Disposition"—if you didn't catch 500 Days of Summer, you've likely seen one of the roughly 500,000 TV commercials pimping this bona fide single—to garner the Melbourne foursome the international attention they deserve. Given front man Dougy Mandagi's commanding, malleable presence and the string of stirring, mammoth anthems on debut Conditions, comparisons to much-feted grandiose pop-gesture masters of the non-American persuasion—your Keanes, your U2s, your Coldplays, your Phoenixes, you get the picture—are pretty much inevitable. Unlike their contemporaries, though, the Temper Trap have a definite sense of restraint—why seize the World Cup-audience-sized hook at the 30-second mark when you can sock it home two minutes in?—and are determined to examine melodic driftwood from more than three different angles before sinking in a carving knife. If you think this band is inescapable now, you ain't seen nothing yet. 18+.
Thu., Oct. 14, 6 p.m., 2010

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