Trap Them have never failed to deliver. On Blissfucker there are no major tweaks to the formula that Brian Izzi and co. have used since their debut, and this is no bad thing. But while innovation has never been a priority, they have sought to refine their sound.
They’re still angry. Raging, even. Eight releases later, they still sound as pissed off as they did on day one. Blissfucker is a brute. Big, mid-tempo Swe-doom riffing and simple drum patterns herald opener ‘Salted Crypts’. But it’s not long before an assault of pumped-up, D-beat hardcore infused with the spirit of Entombed takes hold, which essentially summarises the album for the most part. When name-dropping Entombed, it principally refers to the early deathnroll sound, Wolverine Blues and To Ride… It’s clear that songwriter and guitarist Izzi has a deep love and respect for Swedish death metal. This has been en vogue for a few years, but while some bands try to mimic this sound almost exactly, either as a semi-tongue-in-cheek homage or straight-up worship, Trap Them have studied the style and nuances and fused them with their intense brand of punk to create something more than the sum of its parts. Prime examples being ‘Habitland’ and ‘Former Lining Wide the Walls’.
It’s Trap Them all guns blazing, but when they step things down a little, those faint echoes of Wolverine Blues come to the fore, tempered with a Boston hardcore sensibility – pounding drums and massive power chords leading into swaggering rock riffs and fist-pumping choruses. Throughout the latter tracks, the band experiments with some other textures – willing to stray from the left-hand path, so to speak – employing wiry, repetitive melodies verging on introspection and growling bass lines. These flourishes have been implemented in a more cohesive, less intrusive way than on previous recordings. See ‘Gift and Gift Unsteady’ and ‘Savage Climbers’.
It’s another solid record that will meet and possibly exceed expectations. Trap Them know where they are musically, continuing to evolve rather than making stylistic leaps. This becomes apparent upon hearing the final minute or so of closer ‘Let Fall Each and Every Sedition Symptom’, which consists of a truly unexpected reprisal that will please all long-term fans. Blissfucker is out today (June 10), available through Bandcamp and Prosthetic.