REVIEW: Tropical Trash – “UFO Rot”

Tropical Trash
Load Records

Over the course of the last five years, Tropical Trash have gone through several lineup changes while releasing a few seven inch records and a cassette tape. Through the trenches they’ve maintained a sound that’s tough to put into words as it (seemingly) synthesizes classic Louisville indie rock grooves from bands like Rodan and/or Crain with sounds of yesteryear from the likes of Black Flag.  However, what sets Tropical Trash apart from just about anything I’ve heard is the raw, nervous energy every track relentlessly exudes, and for reasons I can’t articulate, it’s fucking breathtaking.

Now that it’s 2015, these fellas have seemingly gotten comfortable enough to release a full length LP they’re calling UFO Rot, and it’s certainly the most refreshingly weird thing I’ve heard come out of Louisville in quite a while.  “New Flesh” gets the party started with a simplistic, gritty two-chord riff coupled with an abrasive, loud drum beat, each of which are unwavering from start to finish.  This awkward track immediately lets you know what you’re getting into, as you’ll quickly discover that the songs on UFO Rot don’t boast many changes in key, riff or tempo. 

My favorite track is “Fat Kid’s Wig,” which a lot like the other eight songs gets the most out of a dirty, simplistic riff and couples that sound with abusive drums and anxious yelling.  This baby is in and outta here before you know it as it only spans the course of two minutes, but hot damn I’m left completely satisfied.  “Pink Sweat” sounds like an obvious take on The Jesus Lizard, but it doesn’t come across as another tired rerun.  You get the brooding bass line, the big, simplistic drum sounds, and some incoherent vocals coupled with distorted, decorative guitar riffing and  designed feedback.  This song is the perfect closer for this record.

I wouldn’t call the noise on UFO Rot minimalist because I feel there’s a lot happening, and I would hate to call it artsy, because in my brain that would suggest that Tropical Trash might be assholes.  I’d rather live on a planet where these songs were made by otherworldly folks that are simply on to something new and awesome.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Listen to UFO Rot below: