Trash Kit – Trash Kit (Upset The Rhythm)

May 30, 2010 by  

Formed in early 2009, London three-piece Trash Kit have released a gripping self-titled debut LP, where the majority of the songs may be short, (most barely push past 90 seconds) but are crammed full of energy. Each instrument plays an equally important role whether its Rachel Aggs’ mixture of post-punk staccato and jangly African guitar rhythms, Ros Murray’s rolling bass lines or Rachel Horwood’s distinctive tribal drumming (a Djembe is hit with a stick as part of the kit).

“Cadets” is definitely the standout track, where a catchy guitar hook is augmented by pounding drums and soaring vocals that all tear apart wildly, before rising towards a climax full of riotous noise and screams. The opening guitar riff in “50 Ft Woman” brings to mind the kind of effective volatile guitar style that was done in the early 80s no-wave scene. The unpredictability of the band is also showcased here as the tempo gradually falls and then rises again sharply when the song kicks in, resulting in some vigorous riot grrrl vocals.

The afrobeat influence is most obvious on “Natascha”, where Aggs’ jangly guitar patterns are plucked along to some rhythmic djembe percussion and a sharp resonant bass line that simmers everything together nicely. Another highlight is the quirky “Filipino Song”, which uses a drumbeat that was influenced by a traditional Filipino folk dance (I guess the clue is in the title) and grooves along franticly. They even include some saxophone on “Gorey” which adds to it’s freak-out jazz vibe whereas “Tattoo”, one of their more sensitive songs, contains some compelling tremolo violin.

At seventeen tracks however, there are a few moments when the screaming vocal lines or the constant use of “Oh oh oh” backing vocals can become tiresome. Four of the tracks on this album, although good songs, are under a minute long and sound unfinished, they could have perhaps either further developed these songs or just left them off the album completely.

In a current musical climate where so many records seem to be pasted together using Pro Tools and auto-tuned to it’s heart’s content, it is refreshing to hear such a stripped back approach that focuses 100% on the energy of the band performing together – rather than adding any radio-friendly polish. It comes as no surprise then that “Trash Kit” was recorded in a couple of days, in fact, the album sounds as if every track was done in one take, thus allowing the music to sound at its most natural and enjoyable. Although they don’t sound too much like the late 70s female led post-punk movement of the Slits, Au Pairs or the Raincoats, the influence of the attitude and raw spirit of those bands is clearly evident throughout this record.

[rating:4]


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