Trash Kit, now split between London and Glasgow, are back with their third album after a five year gap. A productive one filled with various other projects from this talented trio. Boasting two of the most prolific musicians in the UK, Rachel Aggs (Sacred Paws, Shopping) and Rachel Horwood (Bamboo, Halo Halo), Gill Partington also formerly of Halo Halo now completes the trio.
The first we heard about this new record, Upset The Rhythm label boss Chris Tipton told us this would give Odyshape by the Raincoats a run for its money. Upon hearing this he’s not wrong.
The three-piece continue to open up the instrumentation beyond what just three people can play live.
They introduce several extra layers. Nick Drake-like strings on Coasting, saxophone on the rangey instrumental Disco, delicate piano on Dislocate and Window. They retain the Soukous flecked guitar work, although this is paired down somewhat at times. Check out the new Sacred Paws album for that. It’s really sensational.
Still, it’s very much in the foreground on the stunning, high-tempo Everyday Second, Disco, See through, title track Horizon and Get Out Of Bed.
There is a slight toning down of the post-punky vocal influences that were evident on tracks like Boredom and Teeth on 2014’s ‘Confidence’. Generally Trash Kit sound like they have matured and have done so in an interesting way; there is a softer touch displayed in the guitarwork, the basslines are less aggressive and the rough punky edges have been sanded down somewhat, without anything sounding overly fussy. The production also really sparkles. This is Trash Kit in vivid high fidelity.
You could say they’ve expanded their…horizons. Sorry.
There is inventive syncopation and rhythmical play across the album. The aforementioned Get Out Of Bed is slow building and gorgeous, with lush harp-like sounds and shimmering cymbals. The drums on the title track are a paradox – somehow both sparse and skittering. Frequently Gill Partington’s bass is what really pins things down allowing Horwood to explore the full drum kit and Aggs to shift the momentum with the guitar, whilst displaying a lightness and playfulness. The blasts of brass and vibraslap percussion are also a really nice touch.
See Through is the most impactful and striking track here. It has an almost late-Radiohead quality to the grooves in the verses. It releases the built-up tension with a frantic highlife guitar and bassline, the vocals retaining the punk aesthetic.
There is a cluster of vocally sophisticated tracks. In particular the airy bass led Sunset with its call and response and chanted ending. This can also be said for Traffic Lights which has a particularly delightful building vocal arrangement towards the end. There’s also a hint of a tasteful guitar solo!
The rhythm of the guitar work at times also makes you wonder how on earth Aggs plays and sings this live this live.
Closer Window is the sort of song in which you can get lost in a moment of daydream – full of space, lyrics sung by both Rachels at ever so slightly different rhythms, with harmonies that cross each other’s paths. It’s the most reflective sounding track on the album. Having expanded their sound, where they go from here will be interesting.
This record deserves your full attention.
You may enjoy this if you like: Sacred Paws, Shopping, The Raincoats, Rozi Plain, Thomas Mapfumo, Kanda Bongo Man
Listen to the title track here: https://soundcloud.com/upset-the-rhythm/track-kit-horizon
‘Horizon’ will be released on Friday 5th July. Pre-order here: http://upsettherhythm.bigcartel.com/product/trash-kit-horizon-pre-order
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