Trash Talk

119

01. Eat The Cycle
02. Exile On Broadway
03. My Rules
04. F.E.B.N.
05. Uncivil Disobedience
06. Blossom & Burn (feat. Hodgy Beats & Tyler, The Creator)
07. Reasons
08. Fuck Nostalgia
09. Apathy
10. Thanks, But No Thanks
11. Bad Habits
12. Swinging To Pieces
13. For The Lesser Good
14. Dogman

[10/09/12]
[Odd Future Records]

It has been a monumental year in hardcore. Whether it’s the dark and harrowing approach of Gaza‘s No Absolutes in Human Suffering or the purely recreational 2 Hot 3 Handle by Heavy Blog favorites Cut Your Teeth, we have seen an incredibly diverse array of hardcore music. That isn’t even mentioning the emotionally charged and technically unforgiving Converge album or Xibalba‘s Hasta La Muerte that reinvents the term “heavy”. Like I had said, this year is monumental. Whether it be fun, emotional, technical, heavy, fresh, or innovative, hardcore has had a hell of a run this year. Rounding out these releases however is Trash Talk‘s latest offering 119. Blistering riffs that beg for stage dives and mosh pits, lyrics crafted for the most enthusiastic of sing alongs and iconography that would make Black Flag jealous, 119 has all the right ingredients to become a hardcore staple.

Trash Talk have been getting a lot of publicity lately due to their unconventional record deal on Odd Future Records and their involvement with the hip hop collective of the same name. Odd Future aftershows, collaborations in live and studio settings (see ‘Blossom & Burn’)  and an overlap in music video appearances have all contributed in making Trash Talk and Odd Future an unlikely pair. However, Trash Talk’s association with the hip-hop collective shouldn’t eclipse the fact that they are one of the most prolific hardcore bands in the scene. 119 is a yet another testament to that.

Raw and intense, 119 bursts with fiery riffs, explosive drums, and searing vocals with absolutely no signs of gimmicks. No technicality or fancy artwork. No gang shouts or sleek production. Just a tight Sacramentan Quartet writing some quality hardcore. Now obviously, the lack of innovation might make this album seem derivative, but when most bands are ripping off of Converge and Integrity these days, it’s nice to hear something fresh. It’s old school at heart with modern sensibilities. It’s a true punk rock record. Trash Talk just get it. They know you don’t need studded jackets and colorful mohawks to make kick ass music. They know you don’t have to be edgy and controversial to be political. It’s punk as fuck and that’s where the record shines.

Now even though 119 wouldn’t be considered a dynamic album, its song structure and amazing utilization of the talent at hand more than makes up for that. The four piece are all very conscious about their strengths and they use them with great success. Whether it be Lee Spielman’s knack for rhythmic vocal hooks and his unique raspy tone or Sam Boson’s vivid energy on the kit, the performances of this band shine vicariously through their music. It’s easy to imagine them kicking stuff over and thrashing about in the studio.

The mid-tempo anthems like ‘Reasons‘, ‘Fuck Nostalgia‘ and ‘Apathy‘ are solid tracks but they really break up the blazing pace of the record giving it room to breathe. Then we have instant classics like ‘F.E.B.N.‘ and ‘Bad Habits‘ that easily join ranks with the most acclaimed of punk songs. Also worth mentioning is the strangest song on the record ‘Blossom & Burn‘. It seems more like a novelty featuring rappers Hodgy Beats and Tyler, the Creator from the aforementioned Hip Hop collective, but it doesn’t disappoint. I won’t spoil anything for you, but  it’s interesting to see how a hip hop artist and hardcore group would collaborate and how they bend to fit each others’ sound. And then there’s my personal favorite, ‘Thanks, but No Thanks‘. Don’t you think that song title alone deserves a Grammy or something for being the politest track title ever? What’s even better is that it’s practically grindcore.

119 isn’t an opus. It’s not as grindy as their self-titled or as catchy as Awake was. It’s not as fast as Eyes & Nines, but instead, 119 opts to be a solid addition to their increasingly essential discography. If you like hardcore at all, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by skipping this one out.

Trash Talk – 119 gets…

4/5

– CD

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