Trap Them - Darker Handcraft

Dark grind-speed, Entombed-loving hardcore punk crew Trap Them’s new Kurt Ballou-produced third full-length Darker Handcraft comes out in a couple weeks and it’s, without a doubt, their best collection to date. Reasons? The group’s gone through more drummers than Spinal Tap since forming in Seattle a decade ago. For Darker, ex-Coliseum pounder Chris Maggio manhandles the kit — his coiled approach makes things especially explosive. That, and frontman Ryan McKenney’s writing his catchiest (and still throat-shredding) vocal lines to date, referencing the Misfits when he feels like it, dropping puns and politics, brutal howls and hollers. Outside of that, you get layers of discordant, but melodic axes that do their part to worsen your tinnitus while coming off extremely catchy, cajoling. It all snarls and kicks with that early Black Flag energy, the crust and forward-charge of d-beat, the heavy and bleak atmosphere of Swedish death metal, and some full-on rock ’n’ roll energy. They’ve replaced fun, but obviously crowd-baiting breakdowns with swagger and intelligent, real-life hooks. All without losing the visceral pull that got you into them in the first place. See, for instance, shout-along standout “Evictionaries.” Get ready to dance, violently.

Darker Handcraft is out on CD 3/15 via Prosthetic. (It came out 3/1 on limited-edition vinyl, old-school fans.) If you snoop around the Internet, you’ll find streams of “Slumcult & Gather,” opener “Damage Prose,” and “Every Walk A Quarantine.” And here’s a download of the “Where Eagles Dare”-nodding first “single” “The Facts” (via BV):

Check them out live:

03/09 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott %
03/10 – Providence, RI @ Club Hell %
03/11 – Hackensack, NJ @ School of Rock %
03/12 – Baltimore, MD @ Talking Head %
03/13 – West Springfield, VA @ Jaxx %
03/14 – Greensboro, NC @ Greene St. Club %
03/15 – Johnson City, TN @ The Hideaway %
03/16 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In %
03/17 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s, Full Metal Texas
03/18 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s Annex, NE Metal and Hardcore Fest Invades Austin Pt2 %
03/18 – Austin, TX @ ND at 501 Studios, Power of the Riff
03/19 – Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn, Thrasher Deathmatch
03/20 – Little Rock, AR @ Downtown Music %
04/01 – Karlsruhe, Germany @ Stadtmitte #
04/02 – Koln, Germany @ Underground #
04/03 – Rosswein, Germany @ Juha #
04/04 – Prague, Czech Rep. @ Exit Chmelnice #
04/05 – Bratislava, Slovakia @ Randal #
04/06 – Munchen, Germany @ Feierwerk Kranhalle #
04/07 – Salzburg, Austria @ Rockhouse #
04/08 – Mezzago, Italy @ Bloom #
04/09 – Rome, Italy @ Init #
04/10 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Dynamo Werk 21 #
04/11 – Paris, France @ Glazart #
04/12 – London, UK @ Underworld #
04/13 – Plymouth, UK @ White Rabbit #
04/14 – Colchester, UK @ Arts Centre #
04/15 – Tilburg, Holland @ Roadburn Festival
04/15 – Antwerpen, Belgium @ Trix #
04/16 – Sneek, Holland @ Bolwerk #
04/17 – Hamburg, Germany @ Hafenklang #
04/18 – Lyngby, Denmark @ Templet #
04/19 – Gothenburg, Sweden @ Henriksberg #
04/21 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Debaser Slussen #
04/22 – Turku, Finland @ Klubi #
04/23 – Jyvaskyla, Finland @ Lutakko #
04/24 – Helsinki, Finland @ Nosturi #

% w/ The Red Chord, Gaza
# w/ Rotten Sound, Gaza, The Kandidate, Haust

UPDATE: Stream the whole album at NPR.

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Comments (7)
  1. Brandon,

    “Where Eagles Dare referencing”? Please elaborate. I’m not hearing it. One of the most under appreciated Maiden jams of all time IMO.

    • Ah, I’m talking about the Misfits song of the same name: “i ain’t no goddamn son of a bitch,” etc. But glad to have Maiden show up in the thread.

  2. WE ALL STAY SICK! WE ALL STAY FUCKING SICK! – Every Walk a Quarantine. That song makes me want to beat people.

  3. If ever there was an album where I felt like maybe home listening on vinyl was not the best way to approach it, it’s this one. I’m going out to a local hardcore show this weekend, I hope the riffs there are half as meaty.

  4. You had me at “Kurt Ballou-produced”.

  5. Just when you thought you couldn’t get better than Seizures in Barren Praise… Amazing.

  6. Evictionaries video should definitely feature Ryan McKenney doing a violent Thom Yorke lotus flower choreography. (please no! That would be like a deathcore band video)
    Jokes aside, Darker Handcraft is a cathartic, vibe-y full-length that I already now will end in my top 5 of ’11

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