December 4, 2008
by theseseans (NYC)
A hiss of feedback, a spider-like riff, Ryan then begins. From the start of ‘Day Nineteen: Fucking Vida,’ where Trap Them’s second full length Seizures In Barren Praise begins, frontman Ryan McKenney and company sound like they mean it. Directly before the band completely kicks into ‘Day Nineteen,’ the words “line them up and we’ll see, what every fucking black communion can take” scrape their way from McKenney’s throat in the form of command and with those words he brings a confidence that infects the band’s sound throughout.
On Seizures, Trap Them continue to play a blend of d-beat hardcore with accents of grind. While not venturing into new territory the band continues to refine their sound with improved song writing and the solidification of their line up. The latter is immediately noticeable as Trap Them are finally playing like a band that has had the time to flush out these songs. The addition of Michael Justian on drums provides a wealth of confidence in song writing. While his raw talent behind the kit is clear, it is his restraint that brings the real power. Clearly comfortable, happy, and most importantly aware of his role in the band, Justian is often playing punk rock beats, d-beat hardcore and the slow lurch in Seizures incredible capstone ‘Day Thirty One: Mission Convincers.’ Not to be over looked, guitarist Brian Izzi’s riffs sound like two men should be necessary live. His seemingly effortless jump between strings adds a welcome dynamic to the songs without distracting showmanship.
The only gripe I have with this release is hardly a gripe at all, especially as it’s completely intangible. Seizures seems to have slightly less bite then their last proper release, the SÃ©ance Prime 7”. While I feel that Seizures is their best all around release and I still use “so much attitude” to describe Trap Them’s sound, this release seems slightly, slightly, tamed. Not to say that Seizures is anything short of confrontational and forceful, this is like trying to compare having your ankle caught in a bear trap instead of your shin. Either way you’re fucked, escape is a matter of how much of your leg you’ll have to cut off.
Physically the record is just as uncompromising as its sound. Jacob Bannon’s art has become instantly recognizable, but it is hardly a concern when the quality of his work continues to impress. The entrancing cover art continues to spiral out upon a beautiful double gatefold with excellent visuals within. One major problem however, is that the lyric sheet is almost completely unreadable. Ryan’s lyrics are first and foremost stories, and from those stories he extracts his vocalized lyrics (further expanded upon in our recent interview with Trap Them). As a fan who likes to completely submerse myself in the records I come to love, to not be able to read Ryan’s writing seems like such a waste. The record itself is a grey/black splattered mix.
[Buy] Trap Them – Seizures In Barren Paise