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Bingo Trappers

Well, they tell me these guys are from Amsterdam, but I'll believe it when I see some identification, because they sound about as authentically dirtied and banged-up American as bands can come -- albeit, authentically American circa 1969. Singer Waldemar Noe's laconic sing-speak is reminiscent of both Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, while the Bingo Trappers' country-laced indie rock aesthetic suggests the Sweetheart of the Rodeo-era Byrds reborn as a '90s lo-fi band like Guided by Voices. That lo-fi quality is a big part of the appeal of the duo's loose-limbed, slightly psychedelic Americana; the songs feel so rough, organic, and earthy. As with food, texture is every bit as important as flavor, and that's why the Bingo Trappers are so good.

Since Noe and collaborator Wim Elzinger began recording together in 1995 (soon after playing their first Bingo Trappers show at a children's party in a barn), they've made a shocking number of recordings, in just about every format imaginable (cassettes, split cassettes, CDRs, seven-inches, compilation tracks, you name it). Their excellent (and happily, quite long) Juanita Ave CD came out on Animal World in early 2001.