When I was six years old, the Danish contribution to the Eurovision song contest swept the country like a plaque. The Copenhagen based band Mabel had fostered the song 'Boom Boom' and it was totally catchy and everyone loved the song by these four long-haired guys in plateau boots. Mabel was active in the Danish music scene for some time, but then disappeared. A few years passed, a band called White Lion appeared and grew big in the States. Interestingly for us Danes, the singer in that band was called Michael Trempenau, or Mike Tramp as he'd wisely enough renamed himself, and, yes, you guessed it, he was also the singer of Mabel! Not that I cared for the far too polished music of White Lion - I was emerged mostly in Maiden, Metallica, Slayer and whatnot at the time. When White Lion dissolved in 1992 and we moved into the heyday of grunge, Tramp went on to form Freak Of Nature. That was more like it in my view. More tattoes, more dirty guitars, heavier sound and a convincing live performance, must have been the Roskilde Festival in, huh, 1994? '93 maybe? The band released three listen-worthy CD's, and then that was the end of that.
Tramp has since then made his way around the world as a solo artist and around ten years ago also with the revived but amputated Tramp's White Lion. In recent years he's even made regular appearances on Danish telly in one of those horrendous talent shows. Anyway, the man deserves to be forgiven.
Over the past couple of weeks, I've been fortunate enough to be able to enjoy Tramp's new solo album, simply entitled 'Museum'. I've enjoyed 'Museum' because it holds a collection of ten professionally wrought and songs that all emmanate direct and simple honesty. In essence, this is a man and his guitar, putting together songs that mean something to himself, and in that way they get the kind of nerve that others may care about.
This is not death or thrash metal, hell, some of it is hardly rock, but by simple means, his voice, acoustic guitars, a piano, a couple of samples and down toned drums, Tramp manages to send nods to Led Zeppelin (Down South and Commitment in particular), T-Rex (Slave) and the American singer-song-writer tradition in general. If you're a pure metalhead you'd probably turn away from this, but for those of you who enjoy variation in what you stuff into your burdened ears, this album comes with my warmest recommendations.