The Temper Trap
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The Temper Trap


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"NME Album Review"

The Temper Trap spent the earliest part of this year teetering on the edge of most people’s tips for 2009 lists, but this debut should see the Melbourne quartet swiftly elevated above many who were initially placed higher than them. Produced by Jim Abbiss (he of ‘Whatever People Say I Am…’ fame), the likes of ‘Love Lost’ and single ‘Sweet Disposition’ employ the same echoing histrionics as ‘The Joshua Tree’, but with a charming, cooed falsetto taking the place of Bono’s odious bellow. ‘Soldier On’ and ‘Resurrection’ continue along this vein, pitching them as a more sussed Coldplay that it’s definitely OK to like. The Temper Trap relocated to london in may of this year in a bid to woo the uk: this is not a bad calling
card at all. -

"The Guardian UK Review"

Those with a taste for restraint are advised to look away now: the Temper Trap are not a band with the slightest concept of asceticism. Their debut album eschews the intimate for the epic - a spot of U2-styled delay on the guitars of Sweet Disposition; the crunching rock of Fader; the huge repeated chorus of Down River - but so would yours if you had Dougy Mandagi singing. Mandagi is going to be hearing a great many comparisons to Jeff Buckley in the coming months, and given a voice like his - capable of effortlessly swooping and climbing around a pure falsetto - it's hard to blame the band for throwing the kitchen sink into the mix. With a more conventional singer, they might sound a little prosaic, but for now this is music with a thrilling otherness. It doesn't even matter that much of the time Mandagi appears to be singing tripe: with his voice, and a band this dynamic, he could get away with singing the racing cards.

By Michael Hann -

"Filter Mag: Tromping with The Temper Trap"

Making waves all year long with their first full-length album, Conditions, and breaking into the U.S. music scene with a performance at 2009's SXSW in Austin, Texas, the guys of Temper Trap continue splashing as they wrap up their first U.S. tour and continue onto the U.K. and their homeland, Australia. Traveling by van throughout the U.S., Dougy Mandagi, Jonathon Aherne, Lorenzo Sillitto and Toby Dundas will make their last stops in the U.S. at the end of the month. While in Los Angeles, Mandagi and Dundas took some time to talk to FILTER about touring, relocating to London, career choices and what 500 Days of Summer was like for them.

Go to to read full article (Parts 1 and 2) -

"NME News - The Temper Trap overcome technical problems to thrill packed Reading Festival crowd"

The Temper Trap played a riveting six-song set in Reading Festival's Festival Republic tent today (August 28).

After a slight delay due to technical difficulties, the Melbourne band took to the stage and kicked into the instrumental 'Drum Song'.

The packed Festival Republic tent crowd were then treated to five more songs from the band's debut album 'Conditions'.

Frontman Dougy Mandagi, wearing a buttoned-up shirt and flat cap, was in animated form throughout the gig, and lead the band into most of the tracks.

'Down River' saw the singer perform backing vocals while guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto sang the chorus. During the track's instrumental breakdown the other bandmembers incited the audience to clap along with the song.

Recent single 'Sweet Disposition' got an impressive reaction from the audience, much to the enjoyment of a beaming Mandagi, who had abandoned his guitar to concentrate on vocals for the track.

Before playing final song 'Science Of Fear', Mandagi praised the Reading Festival audience for coming to see the band, saying, "God bless".

The Temper Trap played:

'Drum Song'
'Down River'
'Sweet Disposition'
'Science Of Fear'

"Clash Music Live Review 'Tipped Aussies impress in London'"

The Temper Trap - London The Fly
London The Fly, April 30

This is the band you will be fighting your way through crowds to see in the coming months. Melbourne four-piece The Temper Trap are creating the kind of buzz seen only every few years, and reserved for the most elite musicians.

Their over-subscribed Levi's Ones To Watch gig begins with three minutes of pounding guitars and drums. This is the perfect introduction to their genius and ensures the last remaining people back by the bar are now standing to full attention. Opening track 'Oh Baby', with its near tribal rhythm section, makes its impossible to stand still.

Multi-layered soundscapes reminiscent of TV On The Radio with the excitement of Arcade Fire abound on 'Down River'. Angelic soul vocals from singer/guitarist Dougy Mandagi are somewhere between Prince and James Brown. This adds a pop element which sees this band flow easily across many genres.

'Sweet Disposition', released as a single in Australia, sees the band's animated energy mirrored by the crowd. Hard rock guitars return on 'Resurrection' and are juxtaposed once again with choirboy vocals from Mandagi.

A another instrumental interlude - this time its rock-meets-tribal drumming and has the crowd at fever pitch - before the set climaxes with current single 'Science Of Fear'. The venue erupts with admiration and phrases like "gig of the year" can be heard as the crowd disperse.

With two EPs in their native Australia, an impressive showing at SXSW in March, plus a debut LP - produced Jim Abbiss (Artic Monkeys) – set for a UK release in August, The Temper Trap are firmly at the top of the list of this year's ones to watch.

By Alison Kerry -

"SXSW Underdogs: The Temper Trap"

Bali, Indonesia isn't exactly known as a hot bed for cutting edge indie rock. Australia, however, has been on fire the past few years (see: Wolfmother, Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts). So consider it fate that Dougy Mandagi decided to study in Melbourne a decade ago. Equally fateful: his decision to quit a string of degrees and hawk jeans and T-shirts at General Pants, the Urban Outfitters of Australia. It's there that he met his future band mates—Jonny Aherne, Lorenzo Silitto, Toby Dundas—and formed The Temper Trap,which, in case you missed it, released a four-track, self-titled EP (out on local label Liberation) in 2006 that has drawn comparisons to everyone from Coldplay and TV on the Radio to Radiohead and The Mars Volta. Not bad for an off the cuff effort by four skater boys from down under.

The Temper Trap's first full-length—and still untitled—studio effort has evolved their hook-heavy sound to anthemic levels, with soaring vocals from 29-year-old leadman that recall an early Michael Hutchence, and expansive, syncopated guitar and drum rhythms you might expect from The Edge and Larry Mullen, Jr. Although the band has yet to be signed by a major label, the effort seems to be paying off. TTT's first single, "Sweet Disposition," has already inspired two highly danceable remixes—one by Bowie collaborator Pocketknife; the other from Curtis Vodka—and garned them a spot on Sound of 2009, the latest edition of BBC's annual hype-casting list. Meanwhile, there's a bidding war afoot over the new album as the band gears up for their debut at this week's SXSW Music Festival in Austin. We talked to Dougy about the band's big new sound.

MICHAEL SLENSKE: What do you think makes a rock star?

DOUGY: Hopefully good music, man. The sad truth is that these days you can staple your foreskin to your leg and get on YouTube and TV and become famous for mutilating yourself, which is cool, whatever. I don't know what makes a rock star. I just want to be someone who makes decent music that people connect with and if I accidentally become a rock star in the process, cool.

MS: You're Indonesian, but you live in Australia. How does that influence the way you write songs?

D: I'm born and raised in Indonesia, but I've been living in Australia for the past ten years now. I don't think it's a geographical influence as much as the music I grew up with. I was in the choir in a Protestant Church.

MS: Do you take any influence from Indonesian music?

D: Not really, but it's definitely something I'd like to explore.

MS: How did the band come together?

D: Before I came to Australia in 1999 I was living in Bali for about three years. Me and the bass player, Johnny, became friends as soon as I arrived. I taught him a few chords and we just played together and jammed out to Weezer songs. Toby and Lorenzo, the drummer and the guitarist, they grew up together, went to school together and played in a hardcore punk band together. Me and Toby ended up working together at General Pants, which is the Urban Outfitters of Australia, so we just started from there.

MS: What were you studying in Australia before you met up with the band?

D: First I did fashion merchandise and marketing. It was cool at first because I walked into my first day in class and it was just full of hot chicks. There were only three dudes, one was gay and the other dude had a girlfriend. But even that wasn't enough to keep me there. It was just boring. I quit that and did music and business and I got really bored of that. So I'm a quitter.

MS: The new album has a much bigger, stadium style sound than the EP. Why is that?

D: Our musical tastes have evolved. We're not amazing players, to be honest, but we've gotten better, so we're not as restricted as we were. Those songs were kind of straightforward and now we're able to play with different sounds more and more confidently.

MS: Jim Abbiss, your producer, also worked with Adele and the Arctic Monkeys.

D: Totally, that guy's a wizard. He's been in the game so long and he knows how to pull sounds. We might have a sound in our head and just hum it and he'll go, "How ‘bout this?"

MS: How would you describe your sound?

D: I guess it helps to know what you don't want. I can't say what it is, but when I hear it I go, "That's shit, we don't want it." There are artists we look up to, like Radiohead, TV on the Radio, Bowie, Prince, and so we kind of steal from them here and there and make it our own, give it a little Temper Trap twist. I don't think it's really original, we're doing things that have already been done before, but with a little bit of a twist.

MS: It seems like there's a lot of bands from Australia making it big in America right now. Does that represent an emerging scene, or a community of artists?

D: There's definitely a bustling scene in Australia. In my opinion there's so many more bands out there, but the ones that are being championed are just average bands that don't really sound different to the rest of the pack. There's a band called Snowman, they're amazing, and there's a band called The Drones that are really good. There's a lot, but sometimes I think Australian music has a tendency to favor hype over substance. There's a lot of fashion bands out there I'm sick of.

MS: So you're not into fashion anymore?

D: I'm not knocking fashion, I sold people jeans and t-shirts for four years and I've studied fashion merchandising and marketing, but I just think you need to back that stuff up with some good old-fashioned tunes—something more than a stiff upper lip and tight jeans.

Temper Trap plays four times during South by Southwest: 10 PM on Wednesday at the Dirty Dog Bar; 1 AM Friday Morning, at the British Music Embassy; Friday again at 12:45 PM at Maggie Mae's, and again at 3:45 at Brush Square Park.

By Michael Slenske -

"BBC Music Album Review"

Australian four-piece Temper Trap cooked up the bulk of this debut in their native Melbourne, before hotfooting it to East London and establishing a base from which to add some spit and polish, and launch their bid for UK domination. Four months later and Conditions arrives, with the help of Infectious and popular producer Jim Abbiss - apparently talked into the project by his enthusiastic, and rather persistent wife.

Having found their way precociously into this year's popularity polls, the band have already drawn comparisons with all and sundry. But rather than hinting at weakness, the eclectic range of cultural touchstones on offer here suggest an uninhibited approach to songwriting.

Dougy Mandagi's falsetto vocal provides the axis around which the rest of the band revolves, displayed both in the often unintelligible Love Lost through to the likes of sing-along synth pop Fader.

The Temper Trap definitely like a good climax. Many of the tracks here finish unforeseeably imposing, whether building slowly as with the plaintive Rest, or thrusting magnificently for broke like the laden strains of Soldier On.

Frustration and anticipation ooze from Resurrection, both musically tense and vocally exquisite. Drum Song sees out the album with an instrumental farewell which, while obviously revolving around the stick-wielding skills of Toby Dundas, also gives guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto a platform on which to prove his own riffing dexterity.

Single Science Of Fear is, by far, the most immediate track on the album; its insistent refrain: ''brakes on, brakes on'', lodging itself firmly in the psyche and refusing to budge.

Sillitto sums up the Trap as a ''soul jazz exploration'', which may or may not have been a fey stab at a repeatable soundbite. A less marketable, but equally accurate description is blooming enjoyable pop music.

By Keira Burgess -

"Rave Magazine Review"

It looks like the conditions are right for this newly ex-pat band

How’s this for making your mark? Two years after The Temper Trap emerged with their first EP in Melbourne, not only has Britain’s BBC named them as one of the best acts of 2009, they are also the first signing to the re-launched Infectious label overseas (once the home of Ash, Muse and Garbage). The NME even dubbed them as the possible saviours of (ahem) enormo-indie – you know, the Razorlight, Keane crowd. Then, in-demand producer Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, The Editors, Adele, Kasabian) came on board to ensure this debut album matched the momentum of the hype building around the band. And all that was before the band relocated to London. So what’s all the fuss about? Well, apart from links to some of the names above, there’s a clear U2 influence with soaring vocals rising over a big spacey guitar jangle and a tidal rhythm section. But it exudes the kind of unabashed confidence that demands attention, then goes the extra step and commands respect, simply because they’ve made the sound their own. Part of that is the ear-catching phrasing of Abby Mandagi (Dougy to his friends). But without the songs, that wouldn’t last the distance. Luckily, they’ve got them in spades too. Leading the pack are Sweet Disposition and Science Of Fear, but also worthy of your attention are Soldier On, Drum Song and Down River. Some bands can only dream of a debut as auspicious as this. The Temper Trap have it for real.

4 Stars

By Bill Holdsworth -

"Beat Magazine Review"

The Temper Trap are the perfect contemporary band. As wars are fought out of the line of sigh of a now-apathetic public, dubious democracies are rightfully challenged, spurious pandemics send people rushing about wearing facemasks in fear and a general economic malaise affects all aspects of society, we all have a certain, impersonal detachment from most of it. Thanks to new ways of communication that have changed crucial elements of life – primarily digesting information and conducting relationships – there is a separation between reality and the way we interact with it. The Temper Trap give voice to that severance perfectly.

Disconnect plays a large part across Conditions. Much attention will always be rightly given to Dougy Mandagi’s voice or the way they craft endlessly shimmering indie-pop when discussing The Temper Trap, but crucially, it’s the fact they are so impossibly emotive in the themes they deal with, yet are somehow cast in the role of reflective observers, rather than truly experiencing what they’re witnessing. It works as a metaphor for the current social condition, sure, but it’s that weird disconnect that makes Conditions such a strange, beguiling beast.

There’s the joyously obtuse direction of Mandagi as he creates small vignettes, detailing the lives of others; each song works as a different, tiny window into a problem, a situation, a relationship, a life. It ideally sums up the isolation of modern society, even as it musically washes over you in a rush of delayed guitars, and Mandagi’s incredible, soaring voice. It’s all a combination that makes for one of the finest debut albums, not just from a Melbourne band, but forany Australian band. It’s big, it’s brash and it’s a record that is ready for the international stage.

From the swooping, evocative of Resurrection to the equally epic Soldier On it’s obvious to all and sundry The Temper Trap are a band who’ve always understood the idea of atmosphere, and how effective minimalism can be in creating it. Album highlight Down River and the brilliant pair of singles, Science Of Fear and Sweet Disposition, each utilise this ideal perfectly – spiked guitars dripping with delay from Lorenzo and Dougy, Jonny’s peculiarly circular, rumbling bass meeting to form a strange, urban-indie-jungle with Toby’s drums – and being so impeccably written that each ends up sounding like contemporary gospel. Down River, in particular, is so glorious, so uplifting that it gives you a smile that ought to stay with you for days.

The pairing of Fader and Fools showcases each end of The Temper Trap spectrum – Fools is a delicate downer, Fader is an uproarious new-wave arse-kick. Rest delivers an unhinged intensity, and as far as opening/closing statements go, Love Lost opens proceedings nicely, its organ line mixing nicely against the shards of guitar being flung about, and Drum Song closes Conditions with a righteous, instrumental hoedown.

And, of course, floating across the top of all of this is Dougys’ voice. It is, simply put, amazing. It works in itself, not just as a delivery for smart, poetic lyricism, but as a melodic tool with a ridiculous range that adds class and gravitas to The Temper Trap.

But Conditions, in reflecting and dealing with the society in which it’s created, at times feels almost too disconnected from earthy concerns. Jim Abiss’s production is outstanding, but it can feel cold at times, as though the joy it emanates at other moments is battling the ideological isolation inherent within. It can be confusing, but then, that’s exactly how modern life itself works.

Essentially, Conditions is pure class, a shimmering beast that will deservedly make The Temper Trap a far bigger concern. The Temper Trap are the ideal band for the times, and Conditions a masterful opening statement.

By Jaymz Clements -

"News of the World UK Review"

BUSY winning over fans at this summer's festivals, the Aussies capture their mystical funk in the studio too.

Similar to the out-there epic journeys of Muse, singer Dougy Mandagi's ghostly wail adds more atmosphere to their already OTT guitars.

It starts out as a ballad, then great manic drums help propel it on to rock club dancefloor stuff when it suddenly becomes more urgent halfway through.

Full-on thrills from a band who can go anywhere musically, it'll improve your temper no end.

"Won't stop 'til it's over," Mandagi chants at the end. With their debut album Conditions one of the most anticipated new releases by a guitar band, this should just be the start.

4 Stars -


Conditions (LP, 2009)

The Temper Trap Self-Titled (EP 2006)



The Temper Trap's story begins with Dougy. Born in Indonesia and immersed in an artistic and musical family, with some rich influences from singing in church choirs with his aunty and uncle and listening to his dad, a country music fan, play guitar. These influences evolved around Dougy, as he moved consistently from different islands in Indonesa, to Hawaii and then eventually to Australia. Dougy's move to Downunder started him out as a portrait drawer at $25 a pop, or singing a tune for your loose change in downtown Melbourne.

Dougy eventually ended up working at the same retail store as Toby. Dougy had thought of starting a band for years and after a few months of boring work hours and finding out Toby was a drummer and a walking musical dictionary, the first band practice began, minus a bass player. In one of the coincedences that the band have come to rely on Jonny worked a couple of stores down and was called in. He had known Dougy for years, back in the busking days when dougy first arrived in melbourne. jonny, the 13 year old dreamer and son of a missionary, wanted to learn some guitar and dougy helped him out. A brotherly friendship was formed with some sense of common ground, both drawing life from music and their spritual upbringings, and unaware of the musical union which would be formed 6 years later.

The three of them came together, practised like crazy and played some shows for a year. One, two skip a few (guitarists), ninety nine Lorenzo. An old school friend of Toby's, Lorenzo had been dancing around bands and playing guitar from the age of 12. They bonded over skateboarding, but it didn't take the 2 teenagers long to start jamming covers and writing primitive songs in the garage. Years down the track and in another perfect twist Lorenzo's previous band called it a day just as the other tempers second guitarist departed and the band was formed.

The Temper Trap, lead by frontman Dougy, have been writing and touring Australia, catching the ears of many, including world renowned producer Jim Abiss who made the journey to melbourne to assist the Temper Trap in delivering their debut record. With a series of epic new tracks set for release on their much anticipated debut album, the band has conquered adventurous new territory, building on their rich foundations in a natural progression. Legendary Artic Monkey's and Kasabian Producer Jim Abiss flew over to Melbourne to be at the helm. The Results of this brilliant new evolution in sound will persuasively draw you in. The Temper Trap have undeniably delivered.

- 'Conditions' debuted at #9 in the Australian Charts
- 'Conditions' debuted at #32 in the UK Charts
- Showcased at SXSW in Austin, Texas 2009
- Featured on the line up of Europe 2009 Summer Festivals such as Glastonbury, T in the Park, Electric Picnic, Reading and Leeds Festivals
- Supported acts such as TV on the Radio, Franz Ferdinand, Silversun Pickups, Modest Mouse and Glasvegas
- Recently Sold Out Headline show at London's Heaven (Capacity of 900)