O V E R V I E W
With every release, musicians tend to create new expectations for their next, probably not-even thought of release that is usually years away. It’s the constant cycle of people wanting the next best thing and wanting to know where it goes next — that’s why Netflix with their binge inducing behavior has solved one problem while also creating a brand new one. In 2016, UK pop punk crew Trash Boat released their debut album and while it fell under the pop punk spectrum, there was so much more to it. In fact, it provided a ridiculous breath of fresh air for the sound and went into a plethora of different genres that were rarely touched. Almost immediately after Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through released, people were clamoring for more and wondering what was next. What comes next goes by the title of Crown Shyness and once again will create an entirely new set of expectations for whats coming in the future.
F L O W / L O N G E V I T Y / O R I G I N A L I T Y
When an album strikes the right chord, it’s really hard to pick it apart the different aspects of it because it becomes more than something that just flows with good length; it’s more about the story behind it. This is how Crown Shyness comes across — Trash Boat have managed to take that mixture of pop punk and melodic hardcore found on their debut and not just “add more”, but instead take a deeper dive into it. This brings much needed diversity to not just the album, but the genre which is always a welcome addition. Speaking to the flow more specifically however, Crown Shyness excels at it from the pulsating “Inside Out” to the intensely somber closer “Love, Hate, React, Relate”. It’s this ability to keep things moving forward while injecting new life into each track, such as the heavy hitting “Controlled Burn” or the more typical “Undermine” that accentuates Trash Boat’s desire to make a fresher sound within the overarching genre, giving the album much needed replayability.
V O C A L S / I N S T R U M E N T A T I O N
There’s two sections that really stand out in regards to the strongest area of growth between Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through and Crown Shyness, and vocals and lyrical content are easily one of them. Vocalist Tobi Duncan brings his all on each track, providing an interesting lyrical journey that retains an innate level of catchiness while still delivering the necessary moments of vulnerability, delving into mental health and depression. Backing all of this up is an instrumental showcase that really shows the spanning of genres that Trash Boat bring forth on Crown Shyness. There’s some definite Rise Against influences to be found in the musicality and that tips its hat towards the more melodic punk nature found throughout the record while the flipside to that is a grittier style with pounding drums, punchy bass and ripping guitars. It’s truly amazing on how the meshing of sounds comes together which leads us to the next piece.
C O M P O S I T I O N / P R O D U C T I O N
The composition and production on Crown Shyness truly compliment one another as the 10 tracks that make up the album offer diversity in not just sound, but also subject matter. Harping more ever so slightly on that, the title track “Crown Shyness” is a literal tear jerker, delivering one of the more depressing ideologies in the genre as of late. This becomes ever more prevalent with Trash Boat’s cathartic vision they had for the entire record, which is one they absolutely nailed. On the production front, everything is crisp and as previously mentioned, the styles don’t clash, but instead come together as a whole, delivering one of the more unexpected surprises of the year thus far.
F I N A L T H O U G H T S
Outside of a few rare acts, it almost seems like no matter what the genre they are labeled as pre-determines our expectations for what they will sound like. In Trash Boat’s case, expectations were set with their debut, but Crown Shyness takes it a much different route, bringing with it a much edgier sound that teeters on the very real, emotional side of life. Backing all of this up is a sound that has grit and hits hard, moving them further away from typical pop punk into a sound that truly suits them best at this moment in time. Now with two releases soon to be under their belt, expectations have once again been set and it’s onto wondering what Trash Boat will be cooking up next — it’s just gonna be a few years.