Review Summary: Capturing the crown
Over the not-that-long course of their existence, Trash Boat
have become one of the most popular names in the pop punk scene, and it's certainly an honor they deserve too—Nothing I Write You Can Change What You've Been Through
was a stellar debut that showed just how much potential they had, but they seemed to be somewhat stuck in the shadow of bands like The Story So Far. With Crown Shyness
, Trash Boat have polished things up and have come onto their own, and any "sophomore slump" phenomenon has officially been harshly averted.
finds the band tapping into their hardcore side more than their pop punk side, and it's absolutely a change for the better—vocalist Tobi Duncan adds a level of grit to his voice without sacrificing anything, and his ability to do as such is almost unmatched in the scene nowadays. Guitarists Ryan Hyslop and Dann Bostock only add to the brilliance of the record; their playing is fast-paced and energetic, but they manage to add darker undertones to it and it compliments Duncan's darker lyrics very well. Instrumentally, the only parts where things are more of the same lie with bassist James Grayson and drummer Oakley Moffatt; they're absolutely trying their best, but they just can't seem to bring the best out of themselves, although this is really more of a minor nuisance than anything.
The production and mixing surprisingly balances everything out nicely—things are polished, but they aren't over
polished; it allows Crown Shyness
to keep some of its edge around rather than throwing it all away to appease anyone. The instruments all have spaces to breathe, and unlike many other mixing jobs in the scene where overemphasis is placed on guitar and vocals, you can actually make all of the instruments out. At the end of the day, the biggest faults of Crown Shyness
are simply minor annoyances and lie solely with the band, and even then it's clear that they put all their energy into the album. Trash Boat have virtually perfected their sound on Crown Shyness
save for a few faults, and have rightfully claimed their throne as one of the newest kings in the pop punk scene.