Punk in recent times has been a new discovery for me, being more metal or alt/rock or prog rock orientated. I was introduced to many punk bands via a new friendship with a guy at my new school who showed me a world of catchy choruses and fast simple but very good musicianship. Although I am still very much a metal person I like to think that I can listen to any music and so leave myself open to all his suggestions and recommendations from any genre really. One such band was Trashlight Vision, a relatively new band to the scene and me, but with a member that was not so new to the music scene. If you haven’t read the band bio, here’s a brief history. The band was the brain child of former Murderdolls guitarist Acey Slade and what began as a side project became his now main focus. Let’s move on.
The first aspect of the music we are introduced to early on by the band is the guitar work, which is surprisingly structured for a punk band. It’s not quite the insane virtuoso that some of you may be accustomed to but Acey has talent and in abundance. The riffs from the start are fast and powerful in their delivery and while many would argue simple, some would say very befitting to the music. It is punk after all and so complex shredding or expansive riffs are not always the genres forte, they are still listenable and very at that. Soloing is also and issue amongst punk in general as it’s rarely seen, but this is where TV can be distinguished from other bands in that they are used and used to an advantage. Acey in this aspect has some great talent in pulling of some fantastic solos and licks (Black Apples, Dead Waves on the air and Allergic to you) and gives him more dimensions to his guitar work than just riffs.
Moving on to the rhythm section, the bass and drums. Sadly, as with many bands today, the bass work is very much overlooked in production and is turned down to much, o given little to do. TV have come a cropper with such a problem making the bass pretty much none existant. Although in some cases it can be heard and in these cases it sounds pretty average. Although the bass is not the main focus of the band, it would be nice to include their bass player more and it would add some depth to the music. But in the bands rhythm section I am very impressed with the drummer, providing some excellent beats and (just to any south of heaven) some good breakdown parts. Loud raw and aggressive are the best word to describe the drumming giving the music more oomph (force, push whatever) and proving that punk drummers can add some difficulty without sacrificing speed.
Vocals for a punk band can be an interesting sound in the music. It could be the slur that is Joey Ramone or the high pitch wails of Davey Havok, and in TV case it certainly is. I was never a fan of rough round the edges screaming vocals and on Alibis and Ammunition I am not either. Although its not quite the heavy metalcore scrams you get its more of a growling annoying roar that sadly lowers the albums rating down. The lyrics however seem to be fine but their delivery is somewhat poor, but the only aspect of the band that I can really fine great fault with (the bass doesn’t count because I can’t hear it). Acey Slade being the lead guitarist has not quite put as much though into his vocals as his guitar work, and his homework for the next album is to go away and think about improving his voice, or finding an actual vocalist.
So can the casual expect to be subjected to? Fast heavy punky riffs to excite you, powerful aggressive but interesting drumming, hard to hear but when heard good bass lines, and a raw and imposing yet difficult to listen to vocal performance. TV are a band in their infancy and although lacking the refined and focused sound that mature punk bands have found, they do a good job in rocking you and being a great listen.
Dead Waves on the air
Allergic to you
My Brain is hanging upside down