Release Date: May 27, 2014
Record label: Odd Future Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Hardcore, Punk Revival, Speed/Thrash Metal
When Tyler, The Creator’s hip-hop label Odd Future signed Sacramento hardcore band Trash Talk two years ago, it felt both confusing and perfect at the same time. Hardcore punk and hip-hop may not sound so similar, but Tyler and Trash Talk share a clear ethos. Both aggressive and angry, carefree and youthful, and happy to show detractors a carefully chosen finger.
Trash Talk's No Peace opens with a screeching minute-long instrumental from hardcore rap producer the Alchemist, and his presence might be an acknowledgement that Trash Talk are signed to Odd Future's label and playing on stages well outside pure hardcore circles these days. It could be a reminder that skate kids and Thrasher subscribers have always dug the more aggressive side of rap. Or it might just be the band and Alchemist share a similar interest in shoving your face into concrete.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. I hate to admit it, but upon the unveiling of 'Cloudkicker', the solitary glimpse of No Peace, Trash Talk's forthcoming fifth full-length offering, I developed a sick fascination in sifting through countless comments, spewed across YouTube and SoundCloud, and smirking to myself. Recently recruited by Odd Future Records (yes, the brainchild of those Golf Wang hoodlums), many of their followers seem unaware of hardcore's historic affiliation with hip-hop - and they expressed their distaste in amusing fashion.
Combining the stop-on-a-dime precision of speed metal and grindcore with the minor-key ranting of vintage hardcore, Trash Talk are a machine that runs on bad vibes, and they dish out enough venom to paralyze a medium-size city on their fifth album, 2014's No Peace. From a technical standpoint, No Peace is beyond impressive -- guitarist Garrett Stevenson cranks out an unrelenting volley of crunching downstrokes, with brief interruptions for something resembling solos only adding to the tension rather than releasing it (David Gagliardi is also credited with guitar work on No Peace, but even with a helping hand, the final product is impressive), and the thick, punishing bass of Spencer Pollard and cracking drums of Thomas Pridgen sound as muscular as a team of bouncers at a club where these guys might be playing. As ferocious as Trash Talk sound on No Peace, they're brought down by the fact their songs just don't match up to the profound level of ill feeling the musicians are dishing out; lyrically, these guys have little to say beyond the usual punk/metal anger and frustration about life in a big city, and in "Locked in Skin" they even acknowledge that they seem stuck on insomnia as a metaphor (hard to imagine that this band's dismal outlook could possibly be turned 180-degrees by a dose of Diphenhydramine).
Let’s get this out of the way: No Peace, the fifth full-length effort from thrashcore roughnecks Trash Talk, is 90 percent a straight-up-and-down hardcore record. For hardcore fans, that simple description speaks volumes. In your mind, you can already hear Lee Spielman screaming from the lowest depths of his stomach. You can feel the music’s steely aggression, the kind built from the muscular, no-bullshit street ethos of Sick of It All, Strife, and the long list of hardcore heroes who helped pave their path.
I took a look back at my review of Trash Talk’s 119 to see exactly how much of what I said about that album could be directly applied to No Peace. The answer, I think, is “pretty much all of it.” I still feel the same general sense of goodwill toward the band, a warm appreciation that has less to do with what they produce as what they represent: the fact that there’s still a place at the cool-kids’ table for grimy guitar music delivered with all the subtlety of a broken bottle to the face. I’d still jump at the opportunity to see them ply their trade in person, and I still couldn’t care less to listen to one of their records.
Anger, as John Lydon once pointed out, is an energy. And Californian four-piece Trash Talk are full of it. As a live band, their rage is clear – frontman Lee Spielman has puked his guts out, cracked ribs and broken teeth onstage. ‘No Peace’ is the fourth time he and his band – the first outside the Odd Future hip-hop collective to be signed to the Odd Future label – have captured their fury on record.