Thursday, December 1, 2011

Trash Talk's Awake: the most devestating nine minutes of 2011

Not everyone understands hardcore. But for those who do, there's nothing else in the world that gives you a similar sensation. When it's done right, you feel something sweeping you up and taking hold of you. You're not sure if it's the kickpedal of the drums or the power of the message, but you don't want it to let you go.

Trash Talk is not the type of band to mess around; there are no frills, no excess, just straight ahead, stripped down thrash/hardcore. Their latest EP, Awake, has injected a welcome sense of variety into my playlists this year, and anyone who's interested in checking out this great band should consider this an excellent entry point.

Like the crack of a gunshot, Awake hits you with violent force. And at just under nine minutes, it shows up, slaps you in the face, and then it's gone again. It leaves you wanting more, but never overstays its welcome.

Many hardcore bands try too hard to dress it up, but Trash Talk stick to what they know best. It kicks off with the title track, a take no shit anthem tailor made to get your fist pumping in the air. Then follows "Slander," which packs in so much visceral brutality into such a small time frame that even Ian McKaye would be impressed.

Lee Spielman sounds like he must be totally devastating his vocal chords with each scream, and the rhythms pounded out by guitarist Garrett Stevenson will force you into prime headbanging position. For that matter, Sam Bosson's snare rolls prove that he's not a man to be trifled with.

It all wraps up with "Gimmie Death," the most devastatingly visceral track in the collection. It features Spielman dealing with intense feelings of disillusionment:

"I thought I was important. I thought I had worth. I used to think the world needed me, until I needed the world."

The frustration and confusion that he feels creates a wave which simply crushes the listener.

Awake may be short be sweet, but every now and then you need something raw and unrelenting to give you a kick in the ass. Listen to Awake before you hear any other hardcore disc this year.

Score: 89/100

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