Trash Kit - Trash Kit - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Trash Kit - Trash Kit

by Rich Morris Rating:8 Release Date:2010-05-17

Here's a band which has seemingly taken inspiration from the same hi-life guitar and Afrobeat as Vampire Weekend but taken it to a completely different extreme. Instead of preppy, sometimes forced kookiness and white-bread wholesomeness, London three-piece Trash Kit mix their perky melodies and tumbling percussion with no wave guitar churn and Slits-like chanting on songs like '50 Woman' and 'Cadets', while other tracks, such as the fractured 'New Face', have more of a post-rock/math-rock feel to them. In keeping with the no wave feel, this debut album contains some gloriously unhinged attempts at jazz-rock and punk-funk: 'Bugsy' and 'Tattoo' are funky in a knock-kneed kind of way and would be kind of danceable (in a I'm-having-a-manic-episode-and-don't-care-who's-looking kind of way) if they weren't so short.

And that's one thing which may put some off this otherwise very fine album: many of the tracks are little more than manically itchy, slightly unhinged sound experiments rather than songs. Several songs feature wordless hollers and shouts from singers Rachel Horwood and Rachel Aggs. Where lyrics do appear, they're usually interestingly odd, for example "If I had a sister like you/ I'd do everything that you do" on 'Natasha' and "In the library/ that's where you'll find me/ bad books/ dirty looks" on the splendid, effervescent if typically brief 'Bad Books'.

Trash Kit have obviously been paying attention to fellow London all-girl three-piece Wetdog, who are similarly indebted to The Slits and The Raincoats. Unlike Wetdog, Trash Kit aren't particularly concerned with song structure, preferring to just find a near-groove and lock into it to produce a spasmodic noise eruption. This fact, coupled with the lack of words, means that there're only so many times you can hear an Ari Up-like wail or cat-call before things start to feel a little repetitive. This might seem a strange thing to say when an album is as much fun and as intriguingly lop-sided as Trash Kit's debut is, but perhaps when it comes to album number two they shouldn't be afraid of being a tad more conventional.

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