The Temper Trap have been heading toward world domination from the get-go. The Melbourne five-piece relocated to London prior to the release of their 2009 debut Conditions, figuring it would provide a better strategic base for their commercial assault on Europe and America. Ironically, that album, a proficient slab of Coldplay-hued, anthemic soft rock, went platinum in Australia but did little elsewhere.
Their follow-up has the world in its sights. From the shimmering electro-throb of opening track “Need Your Love,” it’s a ruthlessly efficient collection of Big Pop numbers forensically calculated to vibrate the Madison Square Gardens and O2 Arenas of this world. Whereas Conditions triggered U2 comparisons, here the synths are at the fore: “This Isn’t Happiness,” the glutinous ballads “Dreams” and “The Sea Is Calling” evoke Erasure, OMD and Tears For Fears, respectively. The group’s trump card remains the choirboy falsetto of singer Dougy Mandagi, which is enchanting both amongst the beguiling glitch-pop of “Miracles” as well as “London’s Burning,” a soft-focus analysis of the riots that struck their adopted city last summer. If enough moonlighting Keane and Snow Patrol fans discover The Temper Trap, that desired Big League status will soon be theirs.