Trash Boat

Nothing I Write You Can Change What You've Been Through

Written by: TL on 12/07/2016 19:51:53

The quintet Trash Boat from Saint Albans, England, are a relatively new band in the scene, having only just released their debut album "Nothing I Write You Can Change What You've Been Through", with which they've sort of bought themselves a ticket to get checked out by blogs everywhere, simply by having The Wonder Years' Dan Campbell produce it (and guest on its opening track). With his help, they've created an eleven track burst of an album that flies by in only 31 short minutes, at times seeming confused with whether it wants to be an emo/-pop-punk record or a hardcore punk record.

The album opens with a nice bit of atmospheric, melodious strumming, bringing bands like Moose Blood or The Young Hearts to mind, yet soon launches into a breakneck pace and not really giving you a breather until Campbell comes in to sing the bridge, exacting the price for allowing his name to draw attention to the song, by pretty much stealing it with its most catchy part. Not that this isn't just a classic example of what happens when you let your idols, who are currently better than you, guest on your music.

It's a decent start, though, but the first half of the album sounds most of all like the band has taken pages from the book of a band like The Story So Far, making very contemporary, emotive pop-punk. Singer Tobi Duncan certainly spends an excessive portion of the album spitting lyrics with that searing, white-hot pitch, and similarly to TSSF's Parker Cannon, sounding like all his blood is in his face and like a vein could burst from his forehead at any time. Sadly there's little time allowed for some of the contrasting sweetness that is also a traditional pop-punk staple.

Regardless, outside of the decent "Tring Quarry", the first half of the album is a bit nondescript, as if Trash Boat have adopted the genre's methods but not really found a convincing way to make them their own yet. Also songs like "How Selfish I Seem" and "Pangaea" seriously beg the question whether it's worth writing fast-paced hardcore/punk tunes if you're going to half-ass it anyway? You get to wondering if this record really needs excursions like this, as Trash Boat do not really make the hardcore stylings their own, rather they feel like distractions from the more personal sound that they otherwise seem in the process of grinding out.

The second half of the record is a bit better then. "Second Wind" gets a vintage pop-punk tint by sounding like The Story So Far playing a Green Day kind of track with a bit of Lower Than Atlantis inspiration thrown into the bridge. "Catharsis" drains its tempo halfway through, swooping down and back up for an anthemic moment that feels similar to Crooks or Apologies, I Have None, and the rollicking "The Guise Of A Mother" arguably has the most memorable bit of the record, although it is achieved via some sort of shameless repetition towards the end.

Overall, the last half of the record shows some hints of nuances that Trash Boat can perhaps hone and help to build a more personal soundscape of their own. As a whole, though, there's a considerable portion of the album that you listen to and feel like the band has a decent but not great take on a variety of elements; hardcore, pop-punk and emo; to the point where they can contrast them enjoyably, but don't feel very original doing any of them in isolation. They have a memorable name, though, a nice cover and an established label behind them in Hopeless, so one would be surprised to not see them get at least one more shot at compiling things together into something that gives a bit more of a feeling of longevity. And for the time being, they'll surely have the hearts of diehard pop-punk bros.

Download: Catharsis, Second Wind, The Guise Of A Mother, Strangers
For The Fans Of: Boston Manor, The Story So Far, The Wonder Years, Crooks

Release date 17.06.2016
Hopeless Records

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