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Review of Trimdon Grange Explosion s/t album on Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records

Trimdon Grange Explosion are a psych folk ensemble from North-East London Comprising Alison Cotton (viola/vocals), Ben Phillipson (guitar/vocals), Mark Nicholas (bass) and Karl Sabino (drums). The quartet formed in the aftermath of the split of acclaimed folk-rock outfit THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF MAY of whom all four were members.

In 2010 a 7” emerged on The Great Pop Supplement – a cover of Judy Henske & Jerry Yester’s ‘Raider’ b/w ‘The Trimdon Grange Explosion’ – and then after a further seven year gap, their debut album release saw the light of day, initially as a limited-edition CD-R box package on the Borley Rectory label in Spring of 2017.

Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records released a 500 pressing vinyl version in late 2018. Unsurprisingly these have sold out on their respective websites, however, the digital version is available direct from Trimdon Grange Explosion’s Bandcamp site and is embedded above, the page also has links for the black vinyl and CD-R versions.

This is an excellent album, it’s full of surprises. The sound is somewhere between indie rock, pscyhedelic folk and alt-country for want of a better term. There’s a great variety of styles with nice changes in feel / tension. The vocals are superb with great harmonies. The bass and drumming are subtle but provide a solid momentum, the viola adds an excellent element too. 

24 hours

Slightly distorted guitar lead, jangly chords and bass to open, there’s a kind of brooding quality to the song. The vocals are excellent, they add to the lonesome kind of feel. It’s a slow start given momentum by drumming and the viola adds an excellent element. I really like the building tension to a final release. 

Poor Wayfaring Stranger

Shimmery guitar chords and bass to open, there’s a kind of western feel. The female vocals are superb, great harmonies. The viola adds to the lonesome feel. 


A huge sound to the opening guitar, Big expansive atmospheric sound. 

The Bonnie Banks of Fordie

Drumming to open with bass and strummed chords, superb vocal harmonies. There’s a kind of folk feel, it’s an excellent story. It has a kind of jam feel too with guitar and viola solos and great changes of feel and building / release of tension. 

Christian’s Silver Hell

An uptempo opening from drumming, bass and guitar. It’s a great sound, sort of indie rock with a 60s vibe. 

Weeping and Wailing

Shimmery trem guitar, bass and viola to open, the song has a slow sad feel accentuated by the superb vocals. The drums enter to give more of a defined momentum. 

Heading for a fall

Jangly riff and bass to open, quite a lonesome, western feel. Superb vocals with harmonies, viola adds a great element.  Really nice building to a solo with release and final solo to end. 

Another 24 Hours

Atmospheric opening from distorted guitar and viola that creates a great contrast. Bass is subtle and a great element. Some subtle dub delay effects too. 

Glass and Sand

Jangly guitar and bass to open, slow drumming / percussion gives a subtle momentum. The vocals have a kind of floaty feel and the viola really adds to the sound. Excellent changes in feel to the solo sections which have a great jam quality. 

Spinning Wheel

Bass and jangly riff to open, drumming gives a slow groove. Vocals are sublime. There’s an edge of tension and sadness which gives a brilliant sound. 

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