Wednesday, June 22, 2011

G&P Review:Trap Them

Trap Them
Darker Handcraft

For the first three songs, I was paralyzed by uncertainty. The CD sleeve said Trap Them on it, but the title didn’t start with an S. Séance Prime. Seizures in Barren Praise. Sleepwell Deconstructor.... Darker Handcraft? Whaaaaaaaaa?
But then the trilling stairstep riff of “Evictionaries” seized (an S word!) my full attention and I didn’t care what Rhode Island’s ragers called their latest slab of crusty grindy punky. It’s like Discharge and Entombed splitting a mess of Motorhead’s sketchiest bathtub meth and I was content to just run around slavering and red eyed, grinding my teeth in an incoherent attempt to communicate with the world.
Like Converge with a d-beat fetish, the riffs skitter and slither around the album like the chestburster that got loose in the lab in Alien. While the production on Seizures in Barren Praise was steel wool fuzzy, Darker Handcraft boasts a much crisper tone while still being bass-heavy and abrasive. It sounds like a rusty bandsaw’s rumble caught in glorious Dolby fidelity.
Musically, Darker Handcraft is a logical outgrowth of everything Trap Them has shown us before. “Manic in the Grips” and “Sovereign Through the Pines” both blast and grumble like motherfuckers. Trap Them also put to lie the Misfits’ “Where Eagles Dare” on "The Facts" while Ryan McKinney declares “I am a goddamned son of a bitch.” “Drag the Wounds Eternal” is a strident, deliberately paced bit of beautifully scintillant guitar coruscation that sparkles like twinkling pinpoints in the sky. It’s a moment of transcendent beauty that was wholly unexpected and perfectly placed.
While Darker Handcraft is not a huge departure from the band’s prior output, Trap Them have proven again they are a quietly efficient masters of the modern hardcore ode. Old elements are made new again through spit and ferocity.


DRJones said...

i keep seeing entombed bandied around whenever these guys come up. trap them sound nothing like the entombed most of us are familiar with (left hand path, clandestine).

more disfear than discharge :)

Alex Layzell said...

Despite all the buzz and praise this has received I still have been foolish enough not to check them out, the same goes for the critically acclaimed Tombs. Bout time I got myself into gear.

Andrew Childers said...

amalgamated: i think it's that fuzzy chainsaw guitar tone. it sounds like pure clandestine to me.

Unknown said...

It's the Kurt Ballou mastering Mr. Childers. He does all the same stuff they used to in that Swedish studio all those death metal bands recorded in that I can't think of the name right now. There's a real good Invisible Oranges article about it, check it out.

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

Sunlight is the name of that studio, isn't it?

Anyway, this will be checked out. I really dig their stuff.

I think it wouldn't be too off the mark to compare these dudes with (criminally underrated) To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth.

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

(referring to the Entombed album, natch)

Andrew Childers said...

i remember hating the death n roll stuff entombed did post-clandestine (which is still my favorite by them). i wonder how it would sound to me now.

Unknown said...

Sunlight! That's it, I knew it was an S name.

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

@ Andrew: Wolverine Blues still bores my tits off. To Ride, though, had this frantic hardcore punk edge to it that I dug.

Cryogenic Husk said...

Like mentioned in the review, there's no particular new elements to this record, but I definitely feel as though the band's focus is coming into further clarity. Really enjoyed this album!

@Bill Willingham IV, Esquire: "To Ride..." is an amazing album.

In you're interested, we did a post with vocalist Ryan McKenney where he selected a Stephen King movie and then what songs he'd soundtrack to it (he's a big King fan). Check it out here:

Luke Physioc said...

I wanted to like this one, I really did. They started to lose me on Filth Rations and it was only cemented more on this one. I just can't get behind the Every Time I Die sounding guitars.