After years of making music for himself, Rodney Warner decided it was time to organize his talent into a release that could exist in the world. Something that could be shared, a project that would encompass all that he loves about his favourite artists — that is, big energy, layers of meaning that stay endlessly rewarding, and a bravery to tackle what is frightening in the world — and so, as Trigram, and with assistance from Brian Mansell and Carlos Hernandez, he released this eponymous EP. What it sets out to achieve, it succeeds in.
The album draws you in with melodies and anger: but not an overwhelming anger, a quiet, thoughtful frustration that is powerful in its restraint. Trigram takes on a select and notable few of the problems in the world: colonization, violence in relationships, and the media’s bending of the perception of reality are all tackled on the four song EP. Despite the subject matter, the restraint is pervasive. From the way the songs break apart to allow breathing room (or more aptly, a moment for the larger emotions to settle — a notable example is the melodious bridge of “Bleed Out”), to the way the guitar shifts its role from rock’n’roll grandiosity to a more intricate lull, such as on “Entropy”.
“Assimilate” is the crown of the EP — partially because of its position as powerful opener — but also because of the topical nature of the message, and a clear nod to Warner’s anarchistic tendencies. The video for the track embarks on a dystopian journey which shows the blending of humanity into zombies. It’s an action movie unto itself, and blends entertainment with real critique. Therein lies the power of Trigram.