Label: Upset The Rhythm Release date: 17/05/10 Link: Myspace Some people will always criticise an album produced and recorded using lo-fi means. It can be argued that choices such as use of a cheap sounding microphone or having a layer of fuzz over a song are simply tools to cover a lack of talent or creativity, and sometimes this can be true. But in many instances, these people will be too quick to criticise. And besides, it’s not the noise or the hiss or the crackle or the reverb that makes a song, and indeed an album, good or bad, it’s the music behind this layer. Trash Kit’s eponymous debut album does indeed have a distinctly lo-fi feel to it, but it is far a means of distracting the listener away from a lack of talent. If anything the feel adds something to the record. They care not for convention or musical norms - evidenced by the fact that the 17 songs that make up this record total less than 30 minutes and that songs often shift from fast to slow and back again. The three girl Brits that make up the band wear their influences (see: The Slits) on their sleeves - at times all three girls scream together, and at others the unaccompanied lead vocals bounce up and down, not too dissimilar to Ari Up (of The Slits). At times the listener hears messy, choppy guitar riffs, and at others the guitar strings are finger-tapped and precise (think along math-rock lines). But most of the time the girls are just having some fun. Be it fun crammed into 47 second songs or fun stretched out into 3 minutes 10 songs; both are pretty enjoyable. Album opener 'Knock Yr Socks' off is one of those fun crammed into 47 (okay, 50) seconds-typed songs, and fun it is. Guitar bounces along, bass thuds and drums roll, all repeated a few times over. It’s carefree and, although not really a “song” as such, is a pleasant and apt introduction to the album. And it works as a good introduction to 'Cadets', too, which is one of the stand out tracks from the album. 'Cadets' has been knocking around the blog world for a while now, with reason, and loses none of its charm here. It’s energetic and driving – the bass drum thuds in time with a simple and catchy guitar riff, shortly followed by snare rolls, and then come the vocals. One girl sings, all three shout, scream and the song essentially loops for a second time. It doesn’t sound like much, but 'Cadets' has a great feel to it. These sorts of songs, unpredictable yet sticking to one roundabout formula, make of much of the album yet, possibly surprisingly, the routine doesn’t grow overly boring or repetitive. 'Bugsy' is a mere 47 seconds of drum hits, guitar picks and a vocal rally of bouncing “oh, oh oh”s, wrapped up with a group scream, yet it works on this album. 'Fame' is possibly the most likeable and easily swallowed track off of the album, featuring endearing hand-claps and crying backing vocals. “We ride the megabus, we’re all famous now” the girls cry. “Everything belongs to us, we’re all famous now”. It’s cute and fun, like much of Trash Kit, there’s lots to love. Like most albums (obviously) however, Trash Kit isn’t perfect. At times the listener is left wanting more 'Fame' or 'Cadets' typed tracks, or possibly that little extra structure. Some songs do have the knack of ending a verse earlier than one may expect or hope, and 17 tracks, although often short tracks, feels slightly too many to take-in in one sitting. But for the most part Trash Kit’s discordant sounds and unpredictable shifts of guitar noise, pace, or from screams to calm to all girl harmonies work very well indeed. Photobucket