Noisy can be defined as “very loud and unharmonious in sound”, and that is exactly what TRMRS offers up on the Good Time Blues 7”. Which, despite the connation’s, is not to say that it isn’t stellar rock’n’roll. It’s an astonishing sucker punch to the face.
Too often I think bands rely on noise (distortion, reverb, mumbling) to cover up the fact that 1) they are not capable musicians 2) their music sucks. We’ve all been at shows where some morons “perform”, sound terrible and then hate you for saying it was crap; where there is more thought and content put into image rather than tuneage. The foul here is not skill level (I respect people who are honest about their limitations and endeavor to become better- not everyone will become a master, nor is everyone trying…everyone is where they are), the foul is in being deliberate in pretending you are way better than how far your flange is cranked up to. The crime is saying something about Sonic Youth in defense of claiming your catalogue is the best thing ever instead of saying that it is what it is. Crowing about “lo-fi” and “garage” doesn’t mean you are worthy of or on par with other groups tagged as such; those are vague descriptors, not shields to hide behind. Pretentiousness is the sin, and noise is the false absolution.
And here’s why this 7” is so refreshing- it uses the dynamics of Loud and Unharmonious to craft, to lead, to spin…to rock…not to blanket or cover. Both tracks- are self contained Ying and Yang, perfectly balanced. The more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed 1) listening to it again 2) “dissecting” it/ trying to develop an analysis. TRMRS trademark, semi-punk vocal styling’s (is crooning the proper word here? not singing, not talking…something of its own merit) are disaffected and flat. But it’s the lack of harmony–the negative space in a song where most bands overstuff the vocals — that transforms that empty space into some sort of nihilistic melody and plays off the music. It works because it shouldn’t. The guitar work is great; rippling, surfy, delayed riffs. The drumming is quick and precision, with heavy workouts given to the crash cymbals. The song structures shift gears and tempos, the pick up, they coalesce (in a particularly interesting manner on the titular track). It all swirls together into a bedlam of bad attitude and snarling swagger, making this split a distinguishing and worthy listen. Also, if it needs to be said- one will be rewarded with the kind of euphoria to drive fast, elbow a complete stranger, commit petty crime, and generally engage in various risky behaviors.
Words: Brad Krohe