TRAP THEM - Darker Handcraft CD
Genre: Hardcore/Crust & more
I have to give credit where it's due and thank Decibel magazine for turning me onto this band. It was from a review I read in 2007(yes I still read reviews other than my own) of their Seance Prime CDEP. In all honesty it wasn't what the reviewer had to say which captured my interest. It was just the fact that a magazine which I consider so far out of touch when it comes to Punk Rock/Hardcore (and at times their Metal credibility comes into question) was writing about a new Hardcore band was worth the chance to actually check out. Since then I've liked what I've heard from TRAP THEM although they're not the return to the 1980's by any chance, which is when HC lived and died. Most everything afterward that was considered Hardcore was too politically bent (hippie punk crap) or became part of the edge or core stupidity. Hey I was around back then so I'm not gonna sugar coat it so trust fund babies can feel better about their fake scenes. But as far as TRAP THEM go, there's definitely some aesthetics about the band which are worth their weight in Punk band buttons. I've seen some people call em Death & Roll and there's a good reason since they do have some DM influence but that's only from guitarist Brian Izzi's employment of the Stockholm sound and mixed with the crust structure. I've also heard some late 90's Hard Rockin Punk n Roll influence in their sound. The best part is how they accent everything with off kilter musicianship which pushes them to the head of the pack.
Their newest member, drummer Chris Maggio (formerly of COLISEUM) treats you to some amazing work behind the kit. A mediocre drummer would just keep time with your average HC/Crust style band. Maggio adds so much more whether it's his fill in action, double bass execution and over the top percussion pace which he runs. The guy turns a good cut into an exceptional one. Singer Ryan McKenney has a pitch perfect caustic vocal style as if every song he sings might be his last. What Maggio does with drum fills, Izzi also does with his guitar work. The songs are not repetitive riff rehearsals but instead very dynamic in speed changes. His guitar tone is pure old school Swedish Death Metal. You'll be banging your head for a while and the cut will breakdown into a doom pace as if the floor dropped out from under you. Some how some way bassist Steve Lacour keeps up with all the insanity. Although I like this whole release, twelve songs in a little over thirty minutes, I find myself repeating plays of certain cuts. "Evictionaries" is pure late 1990's era ZEKE worship. Opener "Damage Prose" crosses lines with a former Northwest HC legend, POISON IDEA, with it's breakneck abandonment. Then there's the doomish "Sordid Earnings" which bleeds into "The Facts" just too perfectly. Look people all the fuckin songs are decent. If there's one thing on here that I don't care for it's the Kurt Ballou production of Darker Handcraft. I know this guy is like their fifth member but it just seems like every band he touches ends up sounding like a CONVERGE-core wannabe. So their sound comes across as over polished instead of rough and angry.