In many ways Trash Talk are hardcore classicists. They turn the clock back to a time when a proper punk band didn’t care whether their tracks checked in at three minutes or thirty seconds and were content to race through their repertoire as fast as humanly possible. However, while they might have an admirably old school ethos when it comes to album making, their sound is anything but regressive. The Sacramento throat shredders may carry the flame of the 70s post-punks, but their music is rife with a thoroughly modern eclecticism. They’re happy to play to black clad metalheads one moment and share the stage with hip hop agitators Odd Future the next. Juxtaposition and contradiction are the new normal as far Trash Talk are concerned.
No Peace might lack the abrasive shock of the band’s startling breakthrough Nines & Eyes, but it is the work of a more highly evolved band. Maturity and hardcore rarely go together in any social context, and while this album is still loaded with angst laden bite and throwaway ironic hooks, Trash Talk have nonetheless found a way to age gracefully. “Amnesiatic” sets the tone if not the template; an alien slab of low-slung bass, industrial overtones and hip hop scratches - it’s imposing and artful. “Leech” couldn’t be more different; an overtly signposted, but no less thrilling tribute to Nirvana’s acerbic apathy.
Elsewhere Trash Talk contrast the brutal heaviness of their riffs with the sneering disdain of their vocals. “The Hole” is implausible catchy, while “S.O.S.” pokes its tongue out at rock’s glorification of the mundane and the slacker ideology simultaneously (“I Could Live Forever, Or Whatever”). The key to Trash Talk and No Peace’s success is their ability to identify an inescapable riff or bassline and milk it for all it’s worth within the space of 90 seconds. They don’t overstay their welcome or overturn the apple cart and, as such, Trash Talk will never be vital, but they will always be interesting. To truly break away from the herd and fulfil their potential Trash Talk must fully embrace their genre bending potential.
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