Trap Them – Filth Rations EP
You’d be hard-pressed to find any band as consistent over the last three years as Trap Them. 2007 saw the band release both the Seance Prime EP and Sleepwell Deconstructor LP, before they released their opus – 2008’s Seizures of Barren Praise. All three releases have demonstrated the band at their best; Brian Izzi‘s buzzsaw guitar tone, Ryan Mckenney‘s vivid lyrics, and a rhythm section that, despite not being able to have a consistent drummer, is one of the most destructive in extreme music – playing light speed blasts when called upon, drudging through sludgy sections when it is necessary. However, one thing that Trap Them have always done a good job of is placing their songs where they should be placed; every song serves a purpose, each helps to tell a story, and all help make each Trap Them release a tight, cohesive listen. As a result, their full-lengths weave in between punky crust tracks and larger, doomier numbers, for the benefit (depending on how you look at it) of the listener. This isn’t to call Seance Prime out – it was well put-together as well; three, three-minute fast ones invade your aural cavity before it is bludgeoned by the four-minute closer, forcing you to digest the final, two-minute grinder, before having to put it on repeat, or throw on one of their LPs to straighten yourself out (before the cycle occurs…again).
Filth Rations is the band’s newest release, and their second (or third, if you count their debut three-track Heir to the Throne) EP. Only containing four tracks, it isn’t the full-length LP that fans have been waiting for, but it does contain three new songs, and a new – better – version of Sleepwell favourite “Digital Dogs with Analog Collars”. “Carnage Incarnate” is classic Trap Them; a thick-as-nails bottom end is complimented by hammer-ons and that sounds awesome! guitar tricks. “Degenerate Binds” is the most southern-tinged punk number that Trap Them has put to tape, while “Dead Fathers Wading in the Bodygrounds” is a doomy five-minute track that is dominated with a modest – but brilliant – main riff. However, despite all these songs being strong on their own, the EP as a whole feels…odd. The songs don’t have the contextual importance that they would have on a full-length – especially “Dead Bodies”, which feels like Seizures closer “Mission Convincers”‘s heavier cousin, without the significance. Unlike previous Trap Them releases, Filth Rations just feels constricted – strange, when you take into consideration all the genres and ideas the band manages to implement on a regular basis.
Filth Rations isn’t a bad EP, but it is not on the same level as Seance Prime either – despite tight drumming from Coliseum‘s Chris Maggio, and McKenney’s most visceral vocals to date (if his repetition of “we are the old graves digging the new” doesn’t make your skin crawl, you probably listen to too much Cannibal Corpse). All things said, Filth Rations will make you anticipate their next full-length (due out sometime this year, hopefully) even more.