A horrible hack

Trials of Early Man

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Year Released: 2015
Format: Download
Label: self released
 
Reviewed by Joao on Jan 15, 2016
First album by London/Bristol/Southampton based band Trials of Early Man. People here have done time in a number of bands and I believe have been around the UK post-hc “scene” for some time now. So, not exactly unexperienced, they do have a number of records under their belts with past endeavours.

The band released three tracks on bandcamp about a year ago that certainly caught my eye. Somewhere in between emo/indie/post-punk and post-hc, those songs nodded heavily to the Van Pelt. For the new LP, the band turned a bit darker and intense towards territory occupied by post-hc acts like End of a Year or a more driving No Knife. In particular the vocals remind me a lot of End of a Year bellowing complaints about humans and life in general.

The band is certainly tight and they manage to keep it together through times changes (think Giant’s Chair rather than Dillinger Escape Plan). Guitars are kept angular throughout the ten tracks with enough variety to keep the record interesting enough (not entirely sure if this is one or two guitars.) They are not afraid to once in awhile throw in an oddball chord or clean bit, but without unnecessary trickery to distract you from the actual point of it all: the tunes. At points it really reminds me a lot of No Knife guitars which is a very good thing in my book! However, the songs tend to blend together a little bit since the dynamics and song writing feel a bit unidimensional. Plenty of interesting ideas around though.

Artwork is amazing. I am reviewing the digital version but I hope they are pressing this as an LP because the cover image they are using would look incredible in full size.

All in all, a better than average 1st LP from this ensemble of veteran post hc people. Give it a go if you miss the early 2000s days of driving angular post hc (I do).


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