Review Summary: 'Trash Talk' is Trash Talk. Make of that what you will...
For those of you familiar with Californian quartet Trash Talk you should know what to expect by now. Bile-fuelled, thrash-influenced hardcore; sub-minute blasts of rage and hate; simple but exaggerated, aggressive riffs with all the subtlety and swiftness of a punt to the testicles. For those of you unfamiliar with Trash Talk you should know by now whether or not you will like their self-titled ‘full-length’ –there isn’t a great deal of deviation from this formula here, it must be said. Throughout their discography there is a high degree of homogeneity, but this persistency has led to the band becoming the ‘poster boys’ of inexplicably angry hardcore. They now have an almost cult-like following, with their T-Shirts being spotted at most hardcore/punk gigs, being featured in magazines and on many blogs and just generally raising the pulses, and in some cases, dicks, of red-blooded teenagers and twenty-somethings worldwide.
Given the stylistic consistency across the album, and the album’s length, Trash Talk are more about the overall effect than the individual tracks – although there are of course stand out tracks and sections across the album. The lasting impression that the album leaves you with is one of blunt, but unexplained aggression/anger. The album’s twelve tracks race by in just over fourteen minutes – and it would have been much quicker were it not for album closer ‘Revelation’
’s irregular four-minute running time – thus making its point without putting a second to waste. The aforementioned ‘Revelation’ revolves around a simple, heavy guitar riff that gradually becomes more and more distorted and the line “no one, never again” repeated over and over – a bleak, affecting, if not a little overdone, end to the album. See the thing is, for all of Trash Talk’s brevity they are very overdramatic. Whether it is the heavy, lumbering introduction to ‘The Hand That Feeds’
; the unrelenting thrash of ‘All The King’s Men’
or the anguished lyricism of ‘Well Of Souls’
(shoot me, suck me, stab Me, *** me, kneel before me, I have swallowed God, I am alone) it is clear that subtlety is not Trash Talk are aiming for here. What they are aiming for is pure aggression, and with that they hit the nail square on the head and even manage to produce memorable ‘hooks’ on certain tracks, as well as carefully considered song writing such as on ‘I Block’
which effortlessly flows through its various sections in an industrious 1:26.
There is very little deviation from ruthlessly aggressive, thrashy hardcore, and so ‘Trash Talk’ does get a little tiresome as it rolls along – especially on tracks such as the instrumental ‘Onward & Upward’
which, though well composed, doesn’t quite hit the energy/aggression levels it should; and 'Immaculate Infection’
which is disappointingly average and uneventful, really – though this complaint could have been levelled at several tracks here. The main criticism that you can make of the album is that it is very mediocre. Generally speaking the album blasts its way through the speakers without leaving too much impression other than “I bet this is amazing live” and “Christ, he’s angry!” ‘Trash Talk’ is by no means a bad album, in fact it is quite good – but only ‘quite
good’, not great. Each track tends to roll into one and other than a few memorable moments the album quickly becomes nothing more than a disorientating blur. That shouts at you.