Trim The Barber – Trim The Barber (post-punk)
self released, 2012, CD and DD EP, 17m 17s
£2.50 (DD) £4 (CD numbered edition of 100)
By Oliver Arditi, 26th April 2012
Apart from earning major kudos by naming their band after a stand out track from the founding father of dub, Trim The Barber have a thing or two to say about making atmospheric and texturally creative post-punk music. At this stage in proceedings it’s probably a bit late to call this stuff ‘New Wave’, but it certainly harks back to that historical sound of the future, without sounding at all nostalgic or derivative. There was a thing in the immediate post-punk period (coincidentally the period when I first became aware of something called ‘the charts’ or ‘popular music’) where vocalists adopted a deliberate coldness or hollowness to their delivery, declaiming their lyrics like great howls of anomie in the infinite existential darkness. Trim The Barber have that kind of buzz going on, in combination with an effects laden set of textural guitarscapes, also redolent of that era, when players like Robert Smith and Roger Morris sought ways to play more creatively than punk allowed, without resorting to the tired old cock waggling of earlier approaches. What the guitarists do on this release is pretty rocked out in comparison, in keeping with contemporary tastes, but dead creative, firmly supported on an angular gridwork of bass and drums. They claim to fuse post-punk with elements of shoegaze, but the influences I’ve mentioned are where shoegaze came from anyway. These are big, creative, engaging musical journeys, and I was with them all the way.