Album Review: Trash Talk – Eyes & Nines

The impact made by Trash Talk on the world of hardcore punk in recent months has been momentous, if rather sudden. The Sacramento foursome were formed back in 2005, but recent high-profile tours with the likes of Alexisonfire, Rolo Tomassi and Gallows have resulted in the band becoming widely regarded as one of the most captivating, brutal and refreshing hardcore collectives of today. This is largely down to the abrasive, striking, and at times violent nature of their phenomenal live shows, but while the band have every right to be proud of their previous albums and EPs, none of them have truly captured this chaotic, vicious essence upon which their reputation as a live band is built. To say that new album ‘Eyes & Nines’ achieves this, however, would be a complete understatement. An absolutely savage record with an astonishing lack of respite, Trash Talk’s third full-length offering is as bold a statement of intent as anyone could have dared to imagine.

Perhaps one of the main reasons why ‘Eyes & Nines’ is such an overwhelming listen is its brevity; the ten tracks on offer measure in at a total duration of just over 17 minutes, and although this would possibly be seen as a negative trait of an album under normal circumstances, it simply enhances the effectiveness of Trash Talk’s work, given the level of pace, power and malice on display. Such characteristics are demonstrated on ‘Rabbit Holes’, where a frenetic performance from drummer Sam Bosson stands out. The ferocious one-two of ‘I Do’ and ‘Trudge’ is another instance where a lack of length is compensated for by an overspill of savagery, while ‘On A Fix’, surely one of the album’s highlights, contains the most explosive opening of all the tracks, not to mention a stunning, rage-infested showing from charismatic vocalist Lee Spielman.

The indisputable fact that ‘Eyes & Nines’ is such a significant, attention-grabbing release is not solely, however, down to its uncompromising heaviness and speed. Trash Talk have also made advances in terms of production, by enlisting the services of The Bronx guitarist Joby J. Ford as producer. Ford’s ability to fashion a remarkably crisp, unambiguous sound really does justice to the visceral nature of these songs, and the clarity of sound is worlds apart from that of 2008’s self-titled album. It is clear from the delightfully destructive ‘Envy’ and the climactic title track that the band thrive upon this, particularly guitarist Garrett Stevenson, whose no-holds-barred style of traditional hardcore riffs is implemented with vast amounts of precision and vigour.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of ‘Eyes & Nines’ is that, among the rather inescapable increase in brutality, there are numerous examples of progress made by Trash Talk as a band, with regard to both songwriting and eagerness to add more elements to their sound. ‘Explode’, for instance, which features a guest appearance from Ford’s bandmate Matt Caughthran on vocals, is possibly the band’s most well-structured song to date, and the decision to release it as the album’s first single was inspired. Momentum-building opener ‘Vultures’ contains somewhat unlikely but undoubtedly effective wah-wah guitar effects, while ‘Hash Wednesday’, by far the album’s longest track, moves at merely a fraction of the pace of the rest of the record, and is enhanced by dynamic-laden riffs, ethereal vocals and incendiary lyrics, which combine to create a wholly chilling atmosphere. This apparent thirst for growth, which is evident throughout ‘Eyes & Nines’, is just one of the reasons why Trash Talk’s third album is so monumental. There is no doubt that every objective set by the band with this release has been fulfilled, and any band who manage to create a heavier, more provocative album than this in 2010 will have done extremely well.
Rating – 9


About JJPorter

JJ is a 20-year-old student hailing from Scotland, who lives and breathes music. His favourite genres include a variety of styles of metal, as well as hardcore, punk, and just about everything in between. Contact JJPorter on Twitter or via Email.

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