Typhoon's latest is a 22-minute fusillade of pop music craftwork, featuring mournful trumpet, glossy strings, piles of vocal harmonies, and restless, driving percussion. Lordy, it's been a coon's age since I've been charmed by horns in rock music. Obviously the ethereal whisper of Chuck Mangione's flugelhorn has never been matched, but the well-placed trumpet on "The Honest Truth" creates a beautifully morose march. It takes about three minutes to get to the song's payoff. A hollering gang chorus of "You're gonna piss and moan / You let the devil in your home" sounds as if it were recorded by revelers in a beer garden. On "Summer Home" energetic hand claps and lickety-split percussion make for an intriguing contrast with vocalist Kyle Morton's tense delivery. Once again, though, it's in the closing moments of the song when the group bursts beyond run-of-the-mill indie pop with a false ending followed by a bittersweet breakdown of angelic lady harmonies.
Something like 10 people are involved in Typhoon. That should make for a faithful live performance of the band's complex, multi-layered arrangements. Often the indie/folk/pop amalgamation tends toward a forgettable milquetoast of blasé faux-poetry and lackluster tunage, but Typhoon's sound is full of bombast and hooks.
Typhoon opens for the Decemberists at the Big Sky Brewery Friday, July 22, at 7:30 PM. $30.