In a time where a large majority of pop-punk bands gradually water-down their sound to become a sub-standard, light version of what they used to be, it’s refreshing when a band decides to go in the other direction.
On their sophomore record, ‘Crown Shyness’, this is exactly what Trash Boat do, and deliver one of the best pop-punk records of 2018.
If you’re coming into this record expecting bouncy, feel-good tunes about eating pizza and hating your home town, then you’re sorely mistaken. Right from the get-go with heated opener ‘Inside Out’, the St. Albans five-piece smash expectations to produce a masterpiece with this track dishing up a fantastic start to the record.
If you heard the singles ‘Shade’ and ‘Old Soul’ which dropped prior to the release, you’d already know that the heavier vibes were always going to be a key factor in the band’s progression on this album.
The intensity of the whole LP is far greater than the band’s 2016 debut ‘Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through’, and there’s a clear focus on heavier, bruising riffs and lung-bursting vocals, showcasing a band who know the music that they want to make.
Speaking of vocals, frontman Tobi Duncan pushes his voice to an all new level on the record, with tracks like ‘Nothing New’ and ‘Silence’ showing off his new found power to deliver angrier, more defined growls as he almost screams his way through the entire album.
The emotional title-track takes a vivid picture of Duncan‘s struggle to connect with those around him, much like the canopies don’t join up with other treetops on the album’s cover artwork. The track offers up the closest thing to a ballad that this band will ever come close to making, as gentle acoustic melodies and a selection of strings hark beneath Duncan‘s passionate vocals. It’s these brutally honest and frank depictions of mental health and struggles on tracks like this and dramatic closer ‘Love, Hate, React, Relate’ which elevate these great songs into a more personal light.
Trash Boat have sprung out of nowhere to become one of the leading, forward-thinking bands around the pop-punk scene, and ‘Crown Shyness’ is the quintet’s claim to the throne. If you’re still sleeping on this band, now is the time to wake up.