Trash Talk - 119
Record Label: Odd Future Records
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Conundrums aren't exactly what give Trash Talk their immortality. One glance at the number "119" and it should be pretty clear that inversion equates to subversion in pop culture; the letter A has more frequently become stylized as a V carrying "fuck you" resonance. And if there's one thing that Trash Talk hasn't lost, it's that unruly lustre -- the choicest way to be with a police-state anagram in muggy grayscale. But this isn't a bleak and militaristic gray that we're contextualizing. On the contrary, the tables have been turned via Trash Talk finesse. The cop conscientious "911" has been rear-ended by the band's instinctive havoc to the point of having spun backwards out of control. It's just another part of the Trash Talk routine.
As every Trash Talk release aptly communicates, 119 just attempts to be nothing short of a sonic interpretation of Jump Off a Building. The sensation taken from the first few seconds of feedback shrill on initial throttler "Eat the Cycle" are conditional to the band's smasher muse. A blackened growl of "but everybody's gotta eat" is tacked on at end, nearly ravaging the coattails of the rich along with it.
But unlike the band's previous hardcore-allegiant releases, 119 is self-produced and is a product of Odd Future Records, a label owned by hip-hop provocateur Tyler the Creator. Ironically, the partnership isn't that odd. After all, both artists are indebted to the skate-or-die mantra, both share the same collective spliff in the name of rap and rock'n'roll, and ultimately, both possess a knack for tantrum-inspired killing sprees on the lyrical front.
So naturally, bass-fuzz dependent "Blossom & Burn" showcases Tyler and fellow hooligan Hodgy Beats spewing a truckload of confrontational matter from gats to chainsaws. Not only is every word, instrument, and beat caked in the thickest misanthropic grime since the album's introduction, but the thuggish NYHC number a la Bulldoze features shoutouts to mosh pits and Portishead, in menacing proclamation that Tyler and the OF crew's musical know-how far surpasses rehashed radio rock. "F.E.B.N.", almost chipper in lift, takes advantage of bassist Spencer Pollard's alternating yell and gruff slugger. The relatively subdued course is eventually sideswiped by the psychotropic turbulence that is "Bad Habits". This is where lead vocalist Lee Spielman's spazz-out instincts truly ignite, making the song as vivid as could be without actually being there to witness a kid opiating on his long overdue fix.
Whether 119 hits or misses quality hardcore is not the point, but Trash Talk does seem to do their best when they're not overeager. Signing to Odd Future Records marked the biggest move of their career, and hence, 119 is more concerned about power flexing than it is being simple, fast, direct, and catchy (and there are way less 30-second spurts than before); it has a hefty presence of East Coast ferocity, and Spielman's signature chokehold commands the band's socio-political magnitude more than ever. This eagerness may slightly work for a quartet who wants to transfer live wreckage into overly polished form, but it will be somewhat of a rude awakening for the old spur-of-the-moment generation.
great review. this band is about the furthest thing from my cup of tea, but really enjoyed the insights into this style.
Aw, thanks guys. I really wish more people listened to this type of music on the site, because I would've looked forward to discussing some of the points I made that either listeners felt were or weren't going on.