Jan 9, 2019
Finding words to describe the heaviness that Tropical Trash dish out can be a bit challenging. It's a burly sort of heavy that is adept at thick mud lumbering but also can pivot into flashes of constant swiftness with the blink of an eye. It's a heaviness that often has a metallic and glaring sheen to it but it's also something much more cosmic along with being quite venomous.
It's sensical to pin the punk tag onto the band for their attitude and approach and the sound is not punk in a way Sluggo Smith used the word. It's menacing and disturbing. It's also got a freakin' groove too which gives their songs different shades from each other rather than the same paint by numbers thing over and over.
For this go-round, Tropical Trash's side, "Last Night Straight", is like a hulking piece of earth moving machinery. One that has been covered in moss that got its hydration from spilled bong water. It's spongy and earthy at the surface but deeper in, its relentlessness covers quite a wide berth.
Being that at least one member of Italy's Brutal Birthday is from the cabal of guitar feedback habitues known as Hallelujah!, I expected a bit of loud volume worship and a ton of splatter and I was not let down. Swampy and unhinged, "Facts" buzzes and stings like its inside the most psychotic of hornet nests and gives off a feeling similar to being beaten with a chain and then crawling across a public restroom floor that Grong Grong once spilled an execrable concoction of a cocktail on.
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Apr 5, 2017
On this one, the band has brought in Obnox's Lamont Thomas on some sonic reinforcements and everything is pushed to the limits. The tension builds instantly as the music hits on something like Krautrock for the criminally insane. Noise flies around like red hot daggers being thrown from a ball pitching machine. All thought and emotion other than the most primal are sandblasted raw by the time "Early Wish" rears its beastly head on side one.
Though it may seem like the top is about ready to blow clean off right then and there, it hasn't. It's when the record is flipped and the severe and raw beating that "Exit Dust" gives, sounding like what I wish "the kids meant when they say "post-hardcore" instead of the super pro-tooled, palm mute metal, constipated cry baby bullshit Alternative Press recycles cashes checks to rewrite press releases about, and the blood covered and thrashing violently "Trouble Shot" where the whole damn thing bursts and there's shrapnel flying all over the room.
Nov 27, 2015
Charging right out the gate with a surf drum beat played at speed metal velocity that doesn't let up for the song’s duration, "New Flesh" builds tension up with a hammering one chord down stroke and pummeling, basic bass line foundation for the burly voice singer to bark contemptuous sentiments over. Things hit their boiling point halfway through and it burst into a faceful of searing feedback. The squalls intensify and ooze more puss on the explosively dark next track "DNA Smoke."
There are moments where the band picks up the direction bands like Fugazi and Shellac for instance took the so called "post-hardcore" movement (before the palm muting weigh lifters, fat bald guys with goatees and Amish as tattoo'd hipsters look started to infect it all with effects pedals and "emotional" screeching about the anger of being raised in a subdivision came about), like jittery and soil shaking "Vertical Gang" and the title track's feeling out aural whiplash, but it's the moments where the songs sound like a fireball ball being shot out of cannon like "Leisure Exposure" and how "Fat Kid's Wig" feels like plowing through a ten car pile up and coming out unscathed that assure the listener that the band has their own ideas how things are to be done. For instance, even if "the kids" started to think something like "Heehaw Collider" would be pit worthy the silent gaps of emptiness that dot the song would have them standing around and whining about it (and looking like the goofs at EDM shows waiting for the always now predictable bass drop) while the two close to ten minute lurching, lumbering and doom laden closers, the Big Black at half speed vibed "Knowing" and the Flipper using Black Sabbath tricks to peel paint tricks on "Pig Sweat" would send them back to get in mom's SUV a minute or so into either song.
To declare Tropical Trash UFO Rot as a punk rock record that will still sound current 5, 10 or even 20 years down the road may even confounding or preposterous to some but from where it stands now this scribe is going to make the claim. If we as a civilization are even still around in two decades we can discuss it again then.