For Northampton musician Eric Trabucco, the best rock music consists of ringing melodies, sing-along choruses, victorious guitar solos, reverb-soaked vocals and other elements. Since he had over 10 years of experience of playing in rock and metal bands throughout the Northeast, it was only a matter of time before the singer and guitarist decided to merge these components to create one fine blast of warm rock nostalgia. And with his solo project Grammerhorn Wren, Trabucco has done just that.
Named after a nonsense phrase that Trabucco once uttered to himself, Grammerhorn Wren took shape two years ago after Trabucco decided to make music that was different than that of the group he was playing guitar for, the Valley progressive rock outfit Magna Mater.
“I wanted to make music that celebrated the electric guitar, and had a brighter, faster, sound,” says Trabucco. “Prior to then, I had only worked as a guitarist in bands and taken part in predominantly collective writing processes. It felt liberating to finally do a sound that was specific to my tastes. It’s like being able to create your own little world.”
On his newest album, Comes Careening Out (available for streaming and downloading via grammerhornwren.bandcamp.com), Trabucco indulges his own imaginings with the help of friends Thom Lopes (drums), and Eirinn Gragson (backing vocals). On songs like “World Loves You,” “In Passing” and “Perpetual Sass,” the trio conjures a lo-fi euphoria that tugs listeners along on a ride that can veer from solemn to joyful over the space of a few minutes. While a couple of tracks don’t even make the two-minute mark and one balloons to nearly eight minutes, Trabucco notes that the material’s variety is all part of his progression as a songwriter.
He says, “Since I’ve begun writing Grammerhorn Wren songs, they’ve become longer and less campy. My early songs were little minute and a half spurts of over-caffeinated rock. Now, they’ve expanded and taken on more somber themes. However, I still plan to write some more short, over-caffeinated, campy songs. I can’t lose sight of where I started.”
Currently Trabucco is in the process of teaching his songs to a live lineup that includes Lopes on drums, Gragson on bass and backing vocals, and Justin Morin on second guitar. Once ready, the group plans on playing some gigs while Trabucco prepares to release more music.
“Now, that the album is out, I plan on playing some rock shows,” he says. “I also plan on releasing physical copies of my new album, Comes Careening Out, on CD and cassette for purposes of lo-fi nostalgia. I want to properly release my bedroom recordings, and then do some concept EPs.”•