California hardcore band Trash Talk definitely win the award for one of the shortest five-track EPs in existence, weighing in at nine minutes in total. But don’t let the length deceive you, as ‘Awake’ is packed with about as much energy, angst, ability, aggression and pure raw noise as is humanly possible for one band to cram into such a short lived EP.
Trash Talk are seen as veterans of the genre, formed in 2005 and touring literally ever since, it’s no wonder they bare great comparison to punk legends Black Flag. The experience is definitely evident here, the ‘Awake’ EP is probably one of the most mature hardcore or punk releases as you’ll hear in your lifetime. Aggressive, chaotic, but also structured perfectly. The title-track opener sets the listener up for things to come, beautifully conflicting dirty vocals met by an equally incredible guitar riff that would fit in nicely to any metal band. The versatility of Trash Talk is clear to hear, and as wild as it all gets, the band never lose complete control.
It’s very difficult to pick out any one track from this EP, but ‘Blind Evolution’ is complete anger and unstoppable energy fused with incredible ability, all to give us one of the best hardcore songs of the year. While every song is laced with a furious and merciless attitude, it’s all rather catchy too. There’s melody behind the aggression, and none more so than in ‘Burn Alive’. The poetic screams of “Gimme death, gimme shelter” is a fitting closer to such a fluent EP.
Every song is well written and incredibly performed, and it’s no wonder Trash Talk are starting to turn heads. With each song lasting anywhere between one and two minutes, on the first listen it’s easy for everything to merge into one big energetic blur, and this EP is much like a night of very excessive drinking. You might not remember much, but you know it’s been one hell of an experience.
Written by Gary Cassidy