Trap Them | ‘Crown Feral’
I’ve often heard musicians questioning the point of interviews (or, at the very least, an opportunity for them to express their own opinions).
Whenever I first started discovering the underground, I believed that attitude was down to purity.
A desire to put the music first and to not spoon-feed the masses.
And while there are certain bands you can believe that from, I now suspect that it’s actually because most bands have fuck all to say for themselves or the world around them.
Sure, they may make exciting music, but you’d never have them on your pub quiz team (unless it was about alcohol and various pizza toppings).
Thankfully, most understand the importance of the medium. And, if it wasn’t for this, there’s a good chance I’d never of heard of half the bands in my collection.
Trap Them first came to my attention when main man Ryan McKenny wrote a lengthy blog about the harsh realities of touring America in these times.
While I didn’t agree with everything he wrote, his arguments and observations were clearly heartfelt and had been formed from experience. It was even discussed at length on MI.
With this in mind, I saw that they’d an EP out called ‘Filth Rations.’ A remorseless and flat out record, it was sold to me as crust.
Initially, that didn’t sit well with me (a song like ‘Degenerate Blinds’ would be beyond the capabilities of the likes of Appalachian Terror Unit with it’s mix of death metal, grind and hardcore).
But I gradually began to see where the guy was coming from. The guitar tone. Chunky enough for metal, and dirty enough for crusties.
Two Mins In, Killer Record
This LP, the follow up to ‘Blissfucker’, has an awful lot to live up to, as I didn’t take to ‘Blissfucker.’ It just seemed a little too clean, a little too constrained compared to ‘Darker Handcraft’ and ‘Sleepwell Deconstructor.’
Fortunately, ‘Kindred Dirt’ begins with a melancholic sounding drone which throws you off guard for five seconds before McKenny comes in with a scream.
Quickly, we get a tom beat and a plaintive guitar riff over the drone to back McKenny wondering if “maybe that’s why so many would rather bow out.”
The music builds into a more doom influenced number, with a seriously chunky riff towards the end that floors the listener, while the cut up lyrics reflect the mood: defiant, questioning yet accepting of our fate.
We’re only two minutes in and I can sense this is going to be a killer record.
‘Hellionaires’ (oh my ribcage) has Brad Fickeisen upping the tempo considerably with considerable power in his drumming. Combine this with Brian Izzi’s (formerly of the sorely underrated December Wolves) guitar and you’ve a recipe that will rip your skin off.
Once again, it builds and builds.
This time, there’s a small breather in which the song comes to a halt, before Izzi gives the listener a little guitar line which then takes us back to the chaos, with a more hardcore approach to the drumming which lasts until the end of the song.
3 minutes and 30 seconds long, it packs an almighty wallop and has enough fluctuating tempos and riffs to keep the listener on their toes.
And the album continues in this fashion: ‘Prodigala’ destroys. ‘Luster Pendulums’ doesn’t abate. Although a more midtempo number, the power on display throughout ‘Malengines Here…’ is frightening.
A little tradition among metallic hardcore bands is to end with a suitably “epic” number (Nails are particularly fond of this). ‘Phantom Air’ has elements of this (some of the licks are very ‘foot on the monitor) and the slower, doomier feel takes us back to ‘Kindred Dirt.’
After the initial 30 odd seconds, it’s business as usual. But the whirlwind of aggression, coupled with said licks, feel like the end of days. Like the listener is being sucked into a vortex, from which there is no return.
This is the most action filled 31 minute record you’ll hear this year. Not a moment is wasted, everything is on “attack” mode. The production is crisp and captures the intricacies of the band without sacrificing the power needed for the music. The cover is suitably bleak and eye-catching as well.
Another amazing album. In a year of amazing albums as well.
It’s just as well I read McKenny’s opinion piece all those years ago, otherwise this slab of nastiness might have gone unnoticed by me.
4.5 / 5 ::: Christopher Owens ::: 25/09/16