For Fans Of
It doesn’t take a genius to work out the allusion to anarchy buried in the title of Trash Talk‘s fourth studio album, 119 (hint: invert it and you’re looking at a number synonymous with the authority this band is used to giving the one finger salute to). From impromptu gigs in basements to skateboarding while rolling spliffs, Trash Talk‘s anti-establishment aesthetic seeps through everything they do. They’re loud. They’re abrasive. They don’t give a fuck what you think – and they’re cranking it up another level yet again.
As the follow-up to breakthrough album, Eyes & Nines, and last year’s EP, Awake, 119 has a lot to live up to. It’s overshadowed by a level of expectation that would crush most bands. But do you think Trash Talk care about pandering to trendsetters like Pitchfork or Rolling Stone given their newfound popularity? The answer: no. The Californian outfit are staying true to their roots with another punishing lesson in hardcore mayhem, riding the momentum they’ve accumulated the same way they ride skateboards around the back alleys of their hometown of Sacramento.
Like a snarling guard dog baring its teeth, 119 goes straight for the jugular in menacing fashion. There’s no fat or filler here. We’re talking about 14 tracks delivered in less than 22 minutes. This is an adrenaline-fuelled sprint, not a leisurely walk in the park.
“Who says the best is yet to come? The future’s blanker than the black of my lungs,” barks front man Lee Spielman on opener ‘Eat The Cycle‘, the hysteria in his voice intensified by the track’s manic tempo and bassist Spencer Pollard‘s roaring backing vocals. Spielman and Pollard‘s vocal tag team assault continues on ‘Exile on Broadway‘ – a cathartic romp addressing poverty and homelessness – and ‘My Rules‘ before ‘F.E.B.N‘ kicks into gear. At only a fraction over a minute and a half, the latter showcases Trash Talk‘s knack for splicing brute force with underlying hooks. It gets straight to the point with laser precision, while being infectious enough to justify repeated spins.
With noticeably less 30-second bursts of searing vitriol this time around, Trash Talk flesh out the contents of 119 to make it as potent as possible. They may send out a raging ‘fuck you’ attitude, but they also litter the album with enough memorable choruses and groove to ensure longevity (just cast your ears around the fist pumping thump of ‘Reasons‘ or ‘Apathy‘).
But perhaps the album’s most polarising moment comes during ‘Blossom & Burn‘ and its cameos from Tyler, The Creator and Hodgy Beats of LA rap collective OFWGKTA. Considering Odd Future Records are releasing 119, these guest appearances should come as little surprise. Sure, some of the hardcore purists will turn their noses up at this collaboration, but that’s to be expected – it’s an unlikely mashup of genres. Narrow-minded prejudices aside, ‘Blossom & Burn‘ is a certified highlight, one that breaks up the rhythm of the album with Tyler, The Creator and Hodgy Beats‘ lyrical venom infiltrating Trash Talk‘s metallic hardcore.
119 is another slab of searing hardcore destined for warehouse and basement shows everywhere. Self-produced and vicious in its delivery, the album builds on the momentum Trash Talk have been riding over the past year or so. Where from here? Well, as they say, the sky’s the limit.
1. Eat The Cycle
2. Exile On Broadway
3. My Rules
5. Uncivil Disobedience
6. Blossom & Burn
8. Fuck Nostalgia
10. Thanks, But No Thanks
11. Bad Habits
12. Swing To Pieces
13. For The Lesser Good
14. The Dogman