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Mike Tramp – Museums

Mike Tramp
by Fiona Murphy at 17 July 2014, 7:51 PM

MIKE TRAMP. What an interesting name for a band I pondered, as the promo downloaded.  A flurry of images as to what this artist potentially looked like began to ricochet through my mind. At first I thought it would be a grizzled solo-artist like Seasick Steve, or on a similar route, someone who was trying to be a man of the people like Folk-Funk troubadour Billy Bragg.

Then I thought ‘aah..Mike Traaaaamp’ and pictured a band full of devilry and raw sexuality like MOTLEY CRUE, all tousled-bed hair, kohled come-to -bed eyes, and flying V’s slung at a teasing angle. Then I may or may not have had to lie down for a bit. Then finally I thought, ah hah! They’ve got to be a bunch of really snotty gutter punks, aren’t they??  And boy was I wrong on every guess!

MIKE TRAMP is in fact a singer-songwriter from Denmark, who was formally the frontman of New York based Glam/Hard rock band WHITE LION, who had some successes in the 80s. Then he went on to form FREAKS OF NATURE during the 90s.  Another fun fact about Mr Tramp is he was a former teen idol who represented Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest in the 70s. Anyway, after FREAKS OF NATURE disbanded, he became a solo artist and released his first semi-acoustic album "Cobblestone Street" last year.

History aside, “Museums” his latest offering, is actually a Country-tinged, rootsy kind of affair. But in the main I think it would appeal to fans of stadium rockers like CREED or the GOO GOO DOLLS, particularly in terms of the vocals.

First song “Trust in Yourself” is Tramp’s call to arms and includes lines including how he never messed around with drink or drugs and platitudes such as ‘I’m free and that’s the way it’s going to be.’ Second track, “New World Coming” is a lot more interesting. It has really nice guitar parts and although it does include clichés such as ‘the endless highway’ in terms of lyrics, I actually quite liked it. As I said previously, it does sound a lot like say NICKELBACK or CREED. Now, they are both bands that I despise with the intensity of a thousand suns, but I still thought I’d give this album a fair deal.

The real issue I take with this album is that it does have some lovely moments but then moves away from the interesting ideas to well-worn paths and lyrics that are incredibly literal. Take the opening of “Down South”, it’s really dirty and funky, but then the rest of the song sounds like a more Countrified version of NICKELBACK’S “Rockstar” or “Better Mix” which has epic piano playing but a weak chorus about getting better.  For me, ‘Slave’ with its opening cow-bells and sleazy, South-Rock riffs, however, is the highlight of the album. Aside from that, it’s all rather weak. Now, world-weary hard rock can be done really well, I mean look at VELVET REVOLVER, but “Museums” just doesn’t cut the mustard.

MIKE TRAMP would do well to try and develop some of the scattered moments that provided a breath of fresh air in the album. He needs to move away from the banalities of Hard Rock and work on his lyrics if he does want to have his name in lights as a solo-star.

2 Star Rating

1. Trust In Yourself
2. New World Coming
3. Down South
4. Better
5. Freedom
6. Commitment
7. And You Were Gone
8. Slave
9. Mother
10 Time For Me To Go
Mike Tramp - All Instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Target Records


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Edited 07 December 2022

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