Troika are an experimental rock three-piece from Christchurch, though on the evidence of this four-track EP you could easily believe there are more people involved in creating their layered and dynamic music. Fans of Jakob or A Perfect Circle will find a familiar appeal to Troika’s balance of atmospheric soundscapes and driving, heavy rock. Alan Kang plays guitar, Dorian Lemonnier drums, while David Webber looks after bass and keyboards, with all three providing vocals. Production was by the band themselves, with Webber recording, mixing and mastering.
There’s no sign of any roughness that you might expect from such a DIY production. Ghost in the Machine is the most indulgent, a 17-minute epic that patiently takes its time building from quiet pings and wails into the pay-off of a churning crescendo. The first two basically instrumental tracks are more successful at pulling off this soft-to-hard build, despite (or perhaps because of) their comparative brevity. The prominent vocals on closing song Hovering are a pleasant surprise. This is where the Maynard James Keenan influence is at its most obvious, and the result is a very strong ending to a consistently enjoyable EP. Just four tracks (albeit 30 minutes) doesn’t feel like enough space for the band to explore everything they could with this sound. Hopefully we’ll hear more from Troika soon, as they continue to explore their sound.