(review by combichris markwell)
On first listening to Trapjaw’s self-titled EP, I had to take a minute to compose myself. I think Neil Crud had sent me this music in the hope that its raw cutting power would shear the hair from my head. It had a damn good go at it, Neil, but my mane remains atop my bonce. In any case, these German psychonauts have brought out 5 tracks of squealing, pounding sludge metal that not only slams out of your speakers, it grows, matures, and bursts forth from them, Aliens-style.
Sound heavy enough for ya? Then you’re in for a treat.
At just over 10 minutes long, you may think that there’s little point investing in this sliver of metal. Let me be the first to slap you about the face and derail that particular train of thought. Firstly, this EP is ‘name your price’ on their Bandcamp, so it ain’t gonna break your bank. Secondly, this is some good shit: it’s loud, abrasive, and real. There may only be 5 tracks, but they’re more potent than any mainstream release you’re likely to hear this year.
Let’s talk about the tracks. Opener ‘Death of Desire’ fairly snarls its way into your life with feedback, then the drums and guitars kick in with the strength of a brute squad. It’s at once doom, thrash, and anger all rolled into one mosh pit of musical sensation. ‘The Styx’ is the longest of the tracks on display here, and is a vulgar roar of energy and deadly anguish, its pace a measured stomp against your soul. When ‘Into Obscurity’ strides forth with that riff and that rage, it fairly marches straight over your body and crushes you into the ground. ‘Samson’ is an instrumental pseudo-ballad, with a slicing, melancholy riff with gets thrown in the mud as final track ‘Devil Within’ shoulder barges its way onto the scene. It’s a fitting end to this riotous EP, the song devolving into wild feedback and leaving the listener battered and bruised and gleefully awaiting Round 2.
Trapjaw is a wild band, with power coursing through their veins and riffs like a brass-knuckle massage. If you feel the need to get some heaviness in your life, this EP is the course of metal medication you’ve been waiting for. Get your prescription at their Bandcamp right now, or if you’re really lucky there maybe a few copies left of the limited cassette-only run on Flint’s Footloose Records