20 for ’14: Trap Them – Gift and Gift Unsteady

Part 3 of a 20 part run down of my favourite tracks from last year

In the spectacularly titled Blissfucker Trap Them made a record of streamlined ferocity that levelled it’s once sturdy looking predecessors with impressive ease. No mean feat considering they’d put together an almost entirely new line up for it. If there is still a dividing line between hardcore and metal in 2014 then no one has told Trap Them – they rally headlong through crust/d-beat hardcore infused with a very Swedish metal guitar tone courtesy of Brian Izzi, a man who must have spent a while working on getting that Entombed-esque guitar crunch just right. Personally I’m always most taken with Trap Them when they indulge their metal influences a little more, when they play it a little slower and put a bit of groove into their muscular riffery. Gift and Gift Unsteady is the best example of this yet – the riff is a mix of neat guitar noodling punctuated with crunching one-twos. The crash of the chords seem to be delivered with venom, as if the riff is a little too neat for them and they’re trying the damndest to make it that much nastier. The vocals are similarly delivered with an even more possessed ferocity than usual – it’s one of the few songs where they sound more like they’re straining at the leash rather than charging unstoppably, barging through whatever stands before them, and it’s a sound that really suits them. It’s exactly the kind of dynamics Blissfucker needed to make it more than just a tiring straight ahead assault and elevated it to being one of the best heavy albums of last year.