[sic] Magazine

Trash Talk – No Peace

There’s a real hoopla happening around No Peace on account of it, a), being a hardcore LP yet having its bookends produced by hip-hop legend Alchemist and, b), it being released on the hip-hop specific Odd Future label. These two Clams Casino-esque, NIN-baiting instrumentals aside however, No Peace remains a hardcore punk record. Not that there’d be an issue if it weren’t – it’s not like these schools are mutually exclusive. Hell, Tyler and Trash Talk even have history themselves, previously collaborating on “Blossom & Burn” on the 119 LP (also released on Odd Future it should be noted). Certain versions of No Peace also come with two bonus tracks, which – apart from screwing up the sequencing – further muddy the waters. Of these, “Stackin Skins” features the sneer and drawl of Wiki from rap-noiseniks Ratking and, whilst the result is kinda cool, it’s placing and jarring effect do feel like no-one had any idea what to do with the hook-up once it was made.

In any case, all this furore is weighing the album down when it wants to sprint snarling through the streets. Widely regarded as the most faithful capture yet of the much vaunted Trash Talk live-show, No Peace – the Sacramento four-piece’s fourth full-length – is again crazy aggressive, though it does have glimpses of a relative mellowing. There’s a neat little guitar-driven melody fighting for room to breathe in the otherwise crushing “SOS” for example. There’s a chorus to be found in the blunt-force trauma of “The Hole” too, Lee Spielman grinding out a roaring back-and-forth with the rest of the band. The sinister “Body Stuffer” rushes past with the power of a flood surge but it ends like a Foo Fighters track while “Leech” has a sludgy, Pissed Jeans vibe to it. And, on planet Trash Talk, “Cloudkicker” is a 3-minute pop single. It practically comes with its own circle pit in the opening bars but it then contorts a light(er) emo-metal reprieve. Speaking of metal, why is no-one making more of a deal of the very Metallica guitars that chug through the skate-punk thrash “Monochrome” as well as during the headbanging “Prometheus”? Must be the hip-hop blinkers everyone’s wearing. The subtleties between good hardcore and bad are slight, and whilst No Peace can be a little samey (it is a HC record after all), it’s successful because you feel you’ve been in the ring with it. It’s hipster hardcore due to its connections, sure, but the emphasis is still very much on hard not hipster.

~No Peace is out now on Odd Future.~