Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trauma Harness-The Way You Press On Harder CS (2012)

Trauma Harness, from a 'burb of St. Louis, joins the contingent of recent bands worldwide mining the darker edge of British anarchopunk (Rudimentary Peni, The Mob, etc.) and guitar-based darkwave on this, their first full length after 2011's Trauma Demolitional demo tape.

 I'm completely ignorant of musicianspeak, but it sounds like Trauma Harness is using multitracking and delay to good effect here. The guitar creates a cavernous circuit for the drums and wobbly, wailing singing. "Pearl Moon" is the poppiest tune here, but "poppy" in the way the 4 Skins were: just when you think the band's gonna jump into a super-catchy hook, the music jerks back on itself, and the whole thing's over before you've really gotten yr bearings.

"Frances Bay" is the other standout here. The guitar really makes this tune: Trauma Harness could probably have played this at a senior prom ca. 1983 and gotten away with it, while the drummer  deftly mines Stephen Morris' cymbal/snare technique. Sure, dood is singing about (I think) the death of a loved one in oblique terms, but then, what is high school if not a theater of sadism and slow social death?

"Blue Flames" coulda been released on one of those Mortarhate compilations that Conflict put out back in the early '80s: mindlessly repetitive synthesizer bumps into and around a subdued guitar riff.

Trauma Harness is a good soundtrack for all you Midwesterners out there, as a sweltering summer morphs into a grey fall and savage winter. The only quibble I have is the recording quality: I couldn't make out the bass, to the extent that I didn't realize it was even in the mix. Whatever, it's a postpunk cassette.

Listen to the tape, then BUY IT, HERE. Doods even include a pin with it.

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