Well, color me impressed. Against all odds, they pulled it off. Trima, the band assembled by drummer Damon Scott with the sole purpose of replicating The Greatest Album of All Time, came about as close to nailing it as anyone could. Most importantly, they did the album justice -- and that's about all you can ask for from anybody attempting to grasp the holy grail.
From the very first riff of "Airbag" it became abundantly clear that Scott and his mates were well rehearsed and paid extreme attention to detail. The guitar tone on "Airbag" was so dead on, I'm not at all surprised to discover that guitarist Adam Stern went as far as seeking out the same pedals Jonny Greenwood used to replicate his signature sonics.
As tight as the band was, though, there were a few moments when the players took subtle liberties with the arrangements -- Justin Francoeur's basslines during "Paranoid Android," for instance, were a little more forceful and busier than the original. All in all, though, the outfit was pretty spot on.
Lanny Boyer's vocals, on the other hand, well, those were a little less convincing, especially when he tackled the falsetto parts. On songs like "Paranoid Android" and "Subterranean Homesick Alien," his delivery was a bit nasally for my tastes. On the material that relied on his lower register, however, tracks like "Exit Music (For a Film)" or "Let Down," Boyer was on point.
Scrutiny aside, Boyer's clearly a talented vocalist, and his overall performance was equally as stunning as that of his band mates -- even if it was at times less believable. And that's saying a lot. I mean, trying to approximate Thom Yorke has got to be about as daunting a task as, say, trying to write like Hunter S. Thompson.
Fond but not in love. I'd say that sentiment, conveyed tersely in "Fitter Happier," probably best summarizes my reaction to Trima's attempt to replicate OK Computer. As expertly and accurately as the guys reprised the role of Radiohead, it wasn't quite Radiohead. But then again, no one can really fill that role except for Thom Yorke and company.
-- Dave Herrera
Critic's Notebook Personal Bias: Um, well, I did refer to OK Computer as The Greatest Album of All Time, in case you didn't notice. Random Detail: A friend of the band's named Rhett put together a cool OK Computer-centric video that was projected on the screen behind the band. By the Way: These guys should seriously give thought to writing their own material and making Trima a full time endeavor.