Stateside Presents




Sat, July 28, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

Valley Bar

Phoenix, AZ


This event is 16 and over

Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco.
Traps PS are a band that breaks“less is more” all the way down to “less is everything.”
You get it: like the Minutemen, the songs are short because they don’t need to be long. And like
the Minutemen, sixty seconds of Traps PS hits harder and resonates longer than five-ten-twenty
sloppy minutes from somebody else. Or like Gang of Four, who got it from James Brown, who is
a fundamental Traps PS inspiration—Traps PS cares about discipline, rhythm and clarity. Says
drummer Miles Wintner: “We don’t waste time.”
They’ve always been unafraid to do what needed to be done, this practically telepathic
trio of Wintner, bassist/backing vocalist Danny Miller and singer/guitarist Andrew Jeffords.
They recorded and released records on their community-oriented/community-involved label
Papermade and played any space they’d fit—lost all ages institutions like L.A.’s Pehrspace or
not-exactly legal “guerilla” shows on city streets and in dusty Inglewood oil fields. But with their
first full-length in three years coming into focus, they found L.A. independent label Innovative
Leisure ready to amplify that DIY capability: “We’ve done so much in our own bubble that it
was exciting to explore another aspect,” says Jeffords. “I’m enjoying inviting people into our
By the time they walked into Long Beach’s Jazzcats studio—where labelmates like
Hanni El Khatib and the Molochs recorded with producer Jonny Bell—they had more than
twenty songs nearly fully finished, trimmed to their most necessary components and rehearsed
only enough to sharpen the original inspiration. That was the most important part, says Jeffords,
to capture that ecstatic lightning-strike instant that sparked a song in the first place, and to make
sure it never fizzled out. “If we didn’t have that feeling,” he adds, “the song would have never
made it out of the rehearsal studio.”
Their last full-length was about energy, says Jeffords, an echo of the helicopters that
shook the walls in his old apartment and the car crashes in the street.New Chants would be
darker in tone and color, he thought—about people and their machines, and the blurring
relationship between them. Like the way you can sometimes see your reflection in a TV
screen—maybe you lose track of where the media starts and you begin. If “Fourth Walls” didn’t
make it obvious, the black border around their cover art does: Traps PS knows there’s always a
frame around the image.
This is where the real spirit of that first wave of post-punk is at work onNew Chants. It’s
that uneasiness with the future and the unpredictable effects it brings, and an effort to make an
unpredictable new music to meet it. (Possibly related: there’s actually one of the Jazzcats studio
cats playing piano on this album, but not where you’d think.)New Chants is an album about
watching and being watched, about white noise and negative space, about how what’s undone or
unplayed or unsaid is just as deliberate and meaningful as everything else. Jeffords even
perforated his lyrics sheet with “…” ellipses—negative space in the language itself.
So think Wire’s precision minimalism, antidote to the over-the-top spectacle of punk and
pop both. You’ll hear it in “Seven Voices” or the album’s title track. Think Public Image and
that caustic, corrosive—and purer for it—dissonance. You’ll hear it in “Two Truths,” with its
ragged semi-chorus of “Emmmmmmbrace …” Think the Contortions, who tore out everything in
their songs except the rhythm and discovered there wasn’t much else they’d needed anyway,
except for some saxophone used more as flamethrower than musical instrument. You’ll hear that
as “Fourth Walls” falls in on itself. And then think about Traps PS, who thought about what they
didn’t need and then threw it out, and who made an album only out of what they felt mattered

most: “Let it be what it is,” says Jeffords.New Chants is barely twenty minutes long—but it’s
got everything.
- Chris Ziegler
Venue Information:
Valley Bar
130 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ, 85004