It seems like being in Trap Them isn’t all that easy a lot in life. That’s not to suggest they don’t have their share of fun, and their brand of blackened metallic hardcore certainly can bring down a house, but just listening to their records and witnessing the steamroller lives just screams “hard living.”
Some of that actually has come to pass for the band. Check out the feature on the band in the new issue of Decibel (Eyehategod cover), and you’ll read about how vocalist Ryan McKenney has done so much physical damage to his body that the amount of shows the band can do remains in flux, and his very health has been compromised. Much has been brought on itself due to the band’s physical style and refusal not to throw caution and whatever shrapnel surrounds them to the wind. It’s scary on one hand because it’s something that sounds like it could have been avoided. But had they played it safe, they wouldn’t be Trap Them, one of the most savage bands alive.
The band’s new, fourth record is called “Blissfucker.” Enough said right there. What more is there to read into and analyze? Well, actually, a lot. There still are words being spat, tension being released, and anger, frustration, and disappointment being doused all over this thing, only to light the whole thing ablaze as if turns to ashes on the ground. It’s an intense, furious experience, pitting founding members McKenney and guitarist Brian Izzi and new rhythm section of bassist Brad Fickeisen and drummer Galen Baudhuin against the world, nature, good sense, morality, and anything anyone holds pure. It’s an explosive, dangerous record that could be the band’s last considering the damage that’s been done to these guys. Who knows with a band that operates on this volatile a level? There’s no indication that’s the case, that “Blissfucker” is their last, but it’s so fiery and filthy, but with a killer rock and roll edge smeared all over the thing, that’s it’s as good a last will and testament as you’re bound to find.
“Salted Crypts” opens the record with mucky, pounding violence, making it seem like it’ll slowly drag you along, but then it ignites, with McKenney unleashing his raspy shouts. The guitars sometimes have a Southern-friend edge to them, and the song has a downright thrashy feel. “Habitland” has an assault that slips out of guitars ringing in the air, with blistering punishment, and the final moments being dressed by rabid shouts over cymbals getting crushed to death. “Gift and Gift Unsteady” unleashes some rock and roll goodness along with the Converge-style clobbering, and a slithering guitar lines loops itself all through this thing and ends in a squall. “Lungrunners” is built on raw riffs and speed, with the drums exploding like storm clouds and the melodies reminding of Motorhead at their gnarliest. “Organic Infernal” is a little different, with a strange tempo and chilling guitar tones, with howled vocals that sound like they’re bouncing in reverb. “Sanitations” is ripped apart by the devastating drumming, screamy vocals, and bloody guitar work.
“Bad Nones” starts slowly, with cymbals being tapped, and murk rising up, and most of this one adheres to a muddier personality that takes its time pummeling you. “Former Lining Wide the Walls” is explosive from the start, with a tempo that sounds like it’s aiming for your jugular, and some black metal-style melodies seeping into the mix. “Savage Climbers” is the longest cut on the record at 7:28, and it is in no hurry to exhaust its energy, settling into a heavy, but more deliberate pace for its running time, with the growls feeling menacing and dangerous. “Ransom Risen” is a boiling instrumental—well, mostly, as McKenney is present, but only in the form of wordless screams—that starts with a tribal feel but eventually evolves into sonic madness. The 6:25-long closer “Let Each Fall and Every Sedition Symptom” unloads fiery riffs, fierce vocals, and massive drumming and lets every element run roughshod. The cut is thrashy and monstrous, a perfect sweltering finish to this physically and mentally demanding record.
Trap Them are an entity unto themselves, and very few have the piss, vinegar, and lava to match what they do. They have teetered on the edge of burning out and dissolving, but they always found a way to adapt and survive. “Blissfucker” is their most captivating, masochistic release yet, one that scars psyches, starting with their own. My guess is we haven’t heard the last of Trap Them. But if for some reason we have, this record will be their equivalent of acting like an asteroid tearing into the Earth, leaving a worldwide cloud of dust to choke out all surviving inhabitants.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/TrapThem
To buy the album, go here: http://store.prostheticrecords.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://prostheticrecords.com/