By Trash Talk
Trash Talk's blink-and-you'll-miss it 'Eyes & Nines' album, is a real love-it-or-hate-it affair. Serving up ten bursts of hateful hardcore that rarely surpass the one minute mark, 'Eyes & Nines' is hardcore in its rawest and most unadorned form, where all that matters is getting the energy and emotion across as quickly as possible, and then moving onto the next song.
It says something about this album, that 'Vultures' and title track 'Eyes & Nines' are the most tuneful songs. 'Vultures' is a lumbering beast of sludgy riffing and spasming drums, with a bludgeoning, relentless step, while 'Eyes & Nines' has a punk-influenced take on hardcore, which sees Trash Talk edge closer to a more mainstream interpretation of hardcore. Basically, this sounds like the most extreme track on a hardcore-punk album, instead of your typical Trash Talk fare. 'Eyes & Nines' is a galloping, rocket-fuelled skin-shredder, held together by twisted, spazzcore riffing. It's also one of the more developed songs on the album, clocking in at a portly two minutes and twelve seconds, and is a good starting point for Trash Talk newbies. Still scary as hell, though.
Another song that brings some variety to 'Eyes & Nines,' is 'Hash Wednesday.' After a pitch-black opening of reverberating bass and ranting voiceovers that sounds like Trash Talk are orchestrating the end of the world, vocalist Lee Spielman gets in on the act with an as-yet-unseen deathcore roar. 'Hash Wednesday' is a merciless, tormented grind that brings new depth to the word 'brooding.'
The rest of the album, is Trash Talk going ballistic in under twelve minutes and displaying an uncanny ability to make each song more extreme than the previous one. 'Flesh and Blood' has Trash Talk wrangling their riffs into such unnatural shapes, it almost resembles spazzcore. These surreal riffs are the only thing holding 'Flesh and Blood' together, as it threatens to go careening off the tracks at any moment. 'Explode' is all about Sam Bosson's loose drumming style and random outbursts of blastbeat. His riotous drum lines are held vaguely together by scuzzed-up guitars and Spielman's relentless shouting of "explode! Explode! Explode!" 'I Do' is another track where the emphasis is on Bosson's unruly drumming and, once again, it's Trash Talk's love of fuzzy riffs that cement all the free-wheeling elements into something vaguely resembling a song. However, at forty seconds this is the shortest song on the album and, even as a suckerpunch of hardcore aggression, it does feel like it's over before it's really begun.
Just when you thought Trash Talk had pushed hardcore to the limits, in turns out they haven't even started to give you ear-ache yet, unleashing the whip-lash inducing 'Envy.' Trash Talk keep the pedal firmly to the metal, and even manage to shoe-horn a breakdown into 'Envy's forty-five seconds. Impressive stuff.
'Rabbit Holes' ricochets between an 'Envy'-style hardcore plunge, and a bass-drenched, skewhiff swagger, before Trash Talk really reign the wild energy in for an end-section of bass-soaked straining that'll have you on the edge of your seat.
Along with title track 'Eyes & Nines,' the inappropriately-named 'Trudge' has a hardcore-punk slant, with guitars that gallop raggedly along, dragging a jagged sprawl of rumbling drums and warring vocals along for the ride. 'Trudge' pulls the 'Rabbit Holes' trick of channelling all that manic energy into a single-minded conclusion, where Trash Talk thunder with more intensity than ever before.
Album highlight, is 'On A Fix,' which could have been completely overwhelmed by the ear-demolishing drumbeats, but Spielman could probably make himself heard over the sound of the apocalypse. Every hint of space is filled in with fuzzy riffs, creating a suffocating wall of noise. However, Trash Talk throw a curveball, and end on a passage of groovy bass that conforms more to The Ghost of a Thousand school of hardcore, than Trash Talk's usual just-short-of-being-unlistenable hardcore. This is a song that shows Trash Talk owning the two polar extremes of their chosen genre.
The attention Trash Talk are currently getting from the mainstream music press (in particular the NME) could result in a backlash amongst the hardcore community but, for hardcore fans in search of no-holds-barred fury in under sixty seconds, 'Eyes & Nines' is a dream come true.