Right, strap yourself in for this one.
TRAPS (which stands for The Red and Purple Songs) are made up of current members of Holy Roar roster-botherers, OHHMS (all hail the riffs) and feel like the indignant and bratty little brother to these Kent-based doom merchants. What you have here, is a bizarre mixture of sounds, that somehow complement each other, yet feel like they shouldn’t Tetris together as well as they do.
What should be noted about The Fighter by TRAPS is the way it will lead you down its labyrinth of cryptic, sliding walls, funhouse mirror, bat-shit insanity, trapping you for all eternity in this puzzle box of maddening depravity. It’s a complete dice roll of chance regarding what you’ll hear next and that makes it an exciting and anxiety-inducing experience.
After several spins of this EP (that weighs in at just over 20 minutes across 3 meaty tracks) several bands spring to mind – elements of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Hawk Eyes at their most frantic, the splintering post-hardcore chaos of At The Drive-In and one band that absolutely shreds through the fabric of time and space, Wild Throne. At this point though, we’re probably only scratching some of the surface and depth of what TRAPS are actually creating, mind.
The opening track, Cowboy, quickly tries to cram as many styles into its opening minute as it can. From prog-punk-metal twists and turns to the robotic vocal bleats, thrashing moments of frantic hardcore, back to some slovenly, sludge-coated riffs. Around the 3:30 mark, it goes the way of the Butthole Surfers, Creep In The Cellar (the violin noise) to install a well-needed sense of creeping dread, before exploding back through the speakers with this dirty tech-metal, prog-punk crunch of kaleidoscopic energy and brutal enthusiasm.
Cyborg is an utterly dangerous track that should come with a health warning. From the twinkling keys and rolling drum intro it morphs into this technicoloured beast. The extravagant and lurching riffs bring to mind the beer-swilling haze of Red Fang at their most drunk and indignant, whilst the snapping, dual-vocal trade-off, froths with post-hardcore strangulation. “THIS IS OUR HOME! THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE!” Is screamed with such choking, sarcastic rage by vocalist Chainy, you’ll struggle not to want to join in with his deranged cries and when the southern rock riffs slam home around the 6:30 mark, they are sublimely crushing in their execution.
The Count takes the already fractured and see-sawing template and injects a heady grunge-tinged funnel of spaced-out noise rock excellence into the airwaves. Discord doesn’t really do it justice in what this sounds like, it bludgeons itself apart in order to reach the listener after the initial Rush-esque twinkling prog-pop-rock opening moments, everything hits the chaos fan and spirals rapidly out of control, wonderfully.
The Fighter is a challenging listen, there’s no mistaking that, but it’s ultimately a fascinating and destructive ride that might feel exhausting if this was to be a full album (the sheer momentum of keeping all of this up) but it’s showcasing some excellent experimentation and the kind of heart-racing, mind-shattering noise that 2020 craves.
Stream/buy smash your face in with The Fighter by TRAPS below.