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Trash Talk Squalor Punk Rock Theory
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 10:00
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Los Angeles hardcore band Trash Talk returns to announce their first release in 4 years. Squalor, out June 5th, is the band's first release since 2016's Tangle and is produced by Kenny Beats. "Something Wicked," the first offering from the EP, is a minute and a half of the sonic aggression on which Trash Talk built their name.

Producer Kenny Beats recalls that when he moved to L.A. years ago, Trash Talk moved freely between the city's punk and hip-hop scenes, knitting the two worlds together through sheer force. Since the band formed in Sacramento in 2005, Trash Talk has been recognized as one of the most uncompromising and progressive hardcore acts out. Across world tours and acclaimed EPs and albums, the five-piece has throttled listeners while also exploring the edges of genre, bringing beloved rap producer Alchemist into the fold on 2014's No Peace. Now, with the group's first release in four years, Trash Talk demonstrates its boldness anew by linking with Kenny for an aggressive, convention-defying EP.

Squalor is Trash Talk's first project with a producer working on every song. "We did a record with Steve Albini, but that was more about engineering," says guitarist Garrett Stevenson. "Working with Kenny was the first time we've had real input in the studio. We stepped outside our typical routine." It was also Kenny's first time working with a band for a complete project, recording live drums and guitars. The result is an invigorating and raw document of uncharted territory. For the listener, Kenny's touch is most evident in the interludes that keep the EP flowing from one song to the next, sometimes via distorted samples of vocalist Lee Spielman or the live drums. Behind the scenes, Kenny offered feedback and ideas for vocal takes, and helped Garrett with some of the trickier guitar parts. "The dude is a real musician," he says of Kenny. "Linking with him was about us respecting his ear for music," echoes Lee. For the break Trash Talk gave him, Kenny is just grateful: "They taught me more than almost any other project I've worked on."

Squalor is cohesive and blistering, a reflection of the band's roots and its desire to never settle down. That dual impulse to honor the past and embrace the future is baked into the album's artwork as well. Created by Japanese artist Verdy, who the band became close to while touring in Japan, the detailed art is a callback to his youthful days as a punk rock kid; even though he may now be known best for his efforts as a designer, Verdy's origin is in music. If you know, you know. Trash Talk, long familiar with moving between worlds, understands it all too well.


Track listing:

  1. Point No Point
  2. Something Wicked
  3. Worst of Times
  4. Clutch
  5. Kicking & Screaming