When you start with herky-jerky piano pop and throw in a lot of falsetto whoo-hoo-hoo's, it's tempting to immediately make the Ben Folds comparison. But on their debut EP, Elude the Suits, Triggers manage to sound like a different group on almost every power-poppin' song, starting with the adenoidal Costelloish anthem, "Eyes Like a Ninja."
You may recall Triggers' vocalist Brett Zoric from his stint in earnest hopefuls Monarch; this more fun-loving context seems a much more natural fit for him, alongside Joe Kasler (bass) and ex-You members Adam Rousseau (guitar) and "Woody" Kawood (drums).
As I was saying, Triggers cover a lot of ground over five songs and barely 17 minutes. "She Had Me on Takeoff" ignites with a chopsticky keyboard line reminiscent of Manfred Mann's "Blinded By the Light," before switching into junky percussion, breezy falsetto vocals and clap-and-sing-along choruses -- a groove on the order of "Peaches and Cream" from Beck's farcical romp, Midnite Vultures.
The strong Elvis Costello influence resurfaces on "Body English" (itself a very Costello title), in lines like "Forget the words that I don't know / They changed but I'm not here anymore," delivered with a cynical glee. The raunched-out "Anyone at Anytime" smacks of Beatles via Supergrass, while the closer, "Change It Up," does just that, blending pop-rock with a taste of ska.
I could do with two-thirds of the whoo's dying a quiet death, and the songs would certainly benefit from a little more shine. That said, Rousseau's guitar-playing is unexpectedly bracing, and Elude the Suits accomplishes precisely what an EP from an ambitious new group should do: show a band experimenting with sound and style, demonstrate a certain room to grow, and hint at future accomplishment. With this kind of a start, Triggers just might be next year's model.