EP REVIEW: Trash Talk – Squalor

Release Date: June 19th 2020
Label: Trash Talk Collective
Website: None available
Facebook: www.facebook.com/trashtalkhc
Twitter: www.twitter.com/trash_talk


For nearly the past decade, Trash Talk have made a conscious effort to differentiate themselves from the very scene which their brand of crossover hardcore finds itself so deeply rooted.

Many found it bizarre to see the Sacramento crew popping up at shows with hip-hop collective Odd Future in 2011, eventually leading to several appearances in music videos from the likes of Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, as well as the release of their fourth album, ‘119’, on the Odd Future Records imprint.

Since then, they’ve continued to expand their unlikely presence in the hip-hop community, touring with both Danny Brown and Action Bronson to responses equally lauded and perplexed. It should come as no real surprise then that their new EP, ‘Squalor’, is in collaboration with acclaimed rising hip-hop producer, Kenny Beats. While his resumé boasts credentials such as Vince Staples, Freddie Gibbs, and Denzel Curry (to name but a few), what’s more intriguing is the recent discovery that the producer has had an active hand in the upcoming third album from Bristol post-punks, IDLES.

Trash Talk‘s venture into the unfamiliar hip-hop scene is currently being mirrored, in a sense, by Beats‘ desire to work outside of his comfort zone, with a clear predilection towards punk bands. With everything coming full circle, what does the first piece of material since 2016’s ‘Tangle’ EP sound like? Nasty. It sounds nasty.

Clocking in at little over eight minutes, this is a get in/cause as much damage as possible/get out procedure, timed to a T. While ironically this is some of the cleanest production the band have ever had grace their audible outbursts, Beats is able to utilise clarity to allow the ugly, aggressive nature of the music to speak for itself, and not hide behind forced walls of fuzz or be aided by purposefully low quality recording conditions.

The band have stated that Beats offered great input when crafting the songs, and it shows. For as brief as the material is, things are noticeably layered with the pseudo-interludes that link the tracks echoing the style of skits found on a mixtape. It’s one of the few subtle signs of hip-hop influence that both parties allow.

With plenty more venom to spit and punches to throw, ‘Squalor’ sounds as potent and pissed off as ever, but eight minutes of new material after a four year lapse surely won’t satiate fans for too long.