For so many bands, the second album is hit or miss; it can make your career or it can break it. Thankfully, for Britain’s Trash Boat, there are no signs of slowing down with their second LP, Crown Shyness.
Formed in 2014 and consisting of vocalist Tobi Duncan, guitarists Dann Bostock and Ryan Hyslop, bassist James Grayson, and drummer Oakley Moffatt, this heavy pop-punk band continues to rise in the scene since their debut in 2016, Nothing I Write You Can Change What You've Been Through. Touring with the likes of Beartooth, New Found Glory, and currently enjoying a stint on the iconic Vans Warped Tour, things are going well for the quintet and they look poised to get even better.
Trash Boat’s sound is not taken in too different of a direction as they stay in the same lane as with their first record, blending hardcore guitar parts and employing breakdowns with the fast pace and melody of pop-punk. However, everything is noticeably more hard-hitting and heavier than their first release. Right out the gate, we are hit with two of the heavier songs on the album (“Inside Out” and “Shade”), showcasing the raw emotion this group has to offer from the gritty and angsty vocals, to the nasty riffs and booming rhythm section. What these guys have always done better than most other acts, is try to genuinely sound how they feel, and there is no exception here.
Here’s the video for opening track “Inside Out”.
The group manages to keep the energy going for the next few songs with the more pop-punk leaning tunes “Nothing New” and “Old Soul”, before going into the brain-battering “Controlled Burn”, which is destined to be a pit favourite at Warped. “Don't Open Your Eyes” doesn’t bring anything we haven’t already heard on the record, though it’s still a banging tune. But at this point, it just feels like filler as a part of this collective.
The remaining three songs are where things get interesting...
“Undermine” sees the guys abandoning the heavy influence that takes over a lot of the record, opting to craft a bop of a pop-punk track, one of the record’s sole upbeat moments. The title track is a whole other story. Every time it comes on, it’s four minutes of chills down my spine, as vocalist Tobi Duncan sings of mental health struggles while showing us he can translate the raw emotion from harder songs and successfully apply them to the soft cuts. The album closes with “Love, Hate, React, Relate”, a build up from a guitar part as everything comes in one by one, before an explosive finish in the last minute. A perfect closer to this record.
In recent years, the pop-punk genre has become rather stale. Everybody either sounds the same, or they take a poppier route that in the end doesn’t work out so well. Trash Boat have done the opposite, and, although it’s not entirely original, it something needed in order to to keep the genre fresh and interesting for the average fan.
This is Trash Boat at their moody, pop-punk best with the video for “Old Soul”.
Crown Shyness Track Listing:
01. Inside Out
03. Nothing New
04. Old Soul
05. Controlled Burn
06. Don't Open Your Eyes
07. Crown Shyness
10. Love, Hate, React, Relate
Run Time: 36:41 Release Date: July 20, 2018 Record Label: Hopeless Records