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December 2018 / January 2019

Trash Boat's 'Crown Shyness' fights fire with fire and comes out on top

★★★
Trash Boat's 'Crown Shyness' fights fire with fire and comes out on top
Published: 9:19 am, July 18, 2018

The relentless full pelt momentum barely lets up.

Label: Hopeless Records
Released: 20th July 2018
Rating: ★★★

“Do you even know what depression looks like? Is it tangible?” asks Tobi Duncan on the title track to Trash Boat’s second album ‘Crown Shyness’.
Understanding the album means understanding “Crown Shyness”- as depicted in the album artwork- it’s all about the natural phenomenon in which canopy leaves don’t touch allowing light to pour through. And with the careful picking of the acoustic guitar as the backdrop to all these exposed emotions, it seems Trash Boat have found a way to challenge their own darkness in their second album.

In a word, ‘Crown Shyness’ is raw. Forget the pretty acoustic simplicity of the title track, this album is a battle with Toni’s vocals pushed to breaking point, the bass is thicker and the guitar tones more menacing as they tear their way through this album.

It’s a funny thing, in a second album, the benchmark is always against their first album but ‘Crown Shyness’ is a completely other beast and that’s largely down to production. Where Dan Campbell (of The Wonder Years) brought this pop sheen to their sound but, on album two, Trash Boat have turned to Andrew Wade (A Day To Remember) to bring a feistier edge to their music.

The result, there are still explosive choruses where the tempo slows a little and the vocals come in a little cleaner like in the slamming first single ‘Shade’ or the lethal ‘Controlled Burn’. But, the relentless full pelt momentum barely lets up and that onslaught certainly makes the middle of the album pretty indistinguishable.

Thankfully, the title-track kicks off a change of pace towards the end of the album and that versatility adds a different dimension to ‘Crown Shyness’ with the powerful ‘Undermine’ before the heartfelt ‘Love, Hate, React, Relate’.

In the end, ‘Crown Shyness’ looks to fight fire with fire and come out on top. The aggression is more visceral and across the whole band there is a lot more bite. It’s not perfect but it feels like Trash Boat have gone out on their own and are ready to take on the world. Alex Bradley

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