Sunday, 14 October 2012

Review: Trash Talk - 119

 In 2010. the world of hardcore punk was introduced with a head on collision to one of the new most thrilling and dangerous names in the business. It was through an album known as Eyes and Nines, the third album and proper breakthrough for Sacramento quartet Trash Talk. It was an album showing signs of true gritty hardcore punk that had gone missing from the public eye for some time. And the band's efforts in following this performance up with a fearsome show at the following year's Download festival, we had a new iconic act in the realms of hardcore.

 And it seems the sounds of Trash Talk have recently been heard outwith the world of punk music as well. There was some amount of remarks to be made about the band's recent decision to sign with Odd Future Records for the recording of their latest offering 119 making them the first band on the label that wasn't a member of the critically acclaimed hip hop group of the same name as well as being the first proper rock band on the label. I mean, it raised a lot of questions. Would the band lose their punk fury in favour of a more alternative and hip hop based direction?

 Well actually, having gained a reputation for being one of the most ferocious hardcore bands of modern times, it really does seem like Trash Talk are looking to hold on to that. You can hear it throughout the album, from the opening rush of brutality that comes with Eat the Cycle with it's rough production that gives any listener the impression of having their face turned on it's side and being dragged along a path of grit. Truly the stuff dreams are made of.

 And with the rush of songs that come lasting an average of a minute and a half in length, you have more than enough time to get behind the spread of fear, anger and built up intensity that the band have on offer. From the poundings of Uncivil and Thanks But No Thanks to the bigger built Fuck Nostalgia and Apathy which carry a spirit of old school punk rock and rock and roll about them amongst the brutality, there's no time wasted in creating as much intense shredding and beatdowns as they possibly can.

 To prove themselves as one of the best names in hardcore today, songs like these would be enough but more on offer, Trash Talk do answer the question of whether a newer hip hop direction has been taken in the form of Blossom & Bloom, the album's longest song at two minutes and thirty seconds. It's the slowest most doom laden performance on the album with an opening more reminiscent of Electric Wizard than Bad Brains and with guest performances from Odd Future members Hodgy Beats and OF mainman Tyler, The Creator that proves the unconventional sense of fear and intensity they put into their own off the wall hip hop songs works just as well in a riff laden context, it's a song that proves how dynamic the results of bringing heavy rock and intense rap music can be like it's Public Enemy and Anthrax all over again.

 So, with a highly destructive follow up to the album that gave them a reputation of a band to keep your wits about you when listening to, Trash Talk have made an album that can keep them relevant in a time when the band that shakes the world of hardcore changes at a fairly constant rate, often depending on what bands hipsters that have never been to a hardcore show say they're listening to. And the fact that they can keep this hardcore intensity with an accompaniment with some new friends int he world of hip hop, 119 manages to show off the best elements of what both genres of  music have in this modern day and age in terms of ferocity and intensity in a time where a lot of big bands show less credentials. And where would we be without someone offering us fear in music?

Trash Talk's 119 is out now via Odd Future Records.

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