The third long-player from Trash Kit is a clear-visioned, accomplished and liberating record. Thirty seconds into the opener, ‘Coasting‘ you’ll have the full gist of the style of the album; relaxed but punchy, swaying guitar loops and skilful drum polyrhythms firmly rooted in African musicality, offered respectfully and without ego for the purpose of trance-like group enjoyment.
It’s a comparison no doubt made before and will be made again but it is true so bears repeating. Trash Kit makes music that could easily be mistaken for the work of any number of artists well-documented in that book by Simon Reynolds everyone owns a copy of. On first listen you might think this was the sound of The Slits, The Au Pairs etc, but spending more time with the music will both confirm those acts as obvious influences of Trash Kit and demonstrate that those Post Punk ideas are not being stolen or even borrowed, they are in fact being embellished, developed and progressed even further. Rather than the scratchy and ramshackle feel of many bands from the ‘Rip It Up‘ era, this album is much more in the polished Art Rock camp akin to Talking Heads.
The interaction between guitars, magically manipulated to appear like kalimbas and drums played loose and sloppy, is the core architecture of Horizon. Fused with this foundation are standout string stabs, horn blasts and piano ornaments. Each track has its own instrumental flourish which helps avoid sameness in the tracklist and keep the listener interested while loops and repeating melodies coax out hypnotic and dancey melodies.
Having an atypically authentic first-wave Post Punk feel offers an overtone that makes these songs feel familiar and friendly, but still fresh and contemporary. There are guitar lines present which wouldn’t be out of place in an earlier Foals track for example.
The girl gang facet of the group is a through-line made prevalent with shouted call and response vocals, wailing backing or the choral harmonies smattered around. The somewhat cryptic lyrical content hints at the political and the personal and the parallels between the two, not a new trick but effective here. Instead of having a narrative to distract from the grooves or a message so strong that it dilutes the listening, the words are something to think about after the fact. After you’ve lost yourself in the flowing, comforting melodies.
Horizon is a record which sadly won’t trouble any end-of-year lists purely because of its Indie obscurity in the grander scheme of things but the album will still stand up after fads have passed and the future-forward band will still be a thrilling live presence on any stage and an impressive force in any studio.
Horizon is out now on Upset The Rhythm.