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Trapped Under Ice - Secrets of the World (Cover Artwork)

Trapped Under Ice

Trapped Under Ice: Secrets of the WorldSecrets of the World (2009)
Reaper Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: OverDefinedOverDefined/mikexdude
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Read this review in beta to see the text clearer. - Ed. A split review from OverDefined and mikexdude OverDefined: Even as the old saying goes, "you can't judge a book by its cover," most readers of this website will associate Trapped Under Ice with the hangin-on-the-stoop promo.
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Read this review in beta to see the text clearer. - Ed.

A split review from OverDefined and mikexdude
OverDefined:

Even as the old saying goes, "you can't judge a book by its cover," most readers of this website will associate Trapped Under Ice with the hangin-on-the-stoop promo picture that also adorned the band's 2007 demo 7". However, if you're coming into this review expecting a bashing on this band and a general dismissal of so-called tough-guy hardcore, you are mistaken. Even though this band plays a mix of NY-inspired hardcore mix of heaviness and groove, the simple truth is that it is done so well that it would be impossible to deny this band its place as one of the best bands currently playing hardcore.

Delivering on the promise of its breakout 2007 Stay Cold 7", this debut full-length keeps things straight to the point. With no song making it to three minutes and six of the 12 tracks staying under two, the band is in it and out and never overstays its welcome, laying out a string of catchy and solid riffs underneath the vocalist's gritty take on urban decay and personal struggle.

A clear standout of the record is the second track, "Believe," which features catchy heavy riffs and a pessimistic look at urban life: "No hope -- I can't believe. No hope. What's left to believe in? Believe in what I see, believe in hate, believe in sin. Lie, cheat, and steal -- in the name of death." Amazingly, the track segues into a sample from the musical Hairspray, with its bright and peppy lyric, "Good morning Baltimore, every day's like an open doorâ?¦" The juxtaposition makes for a both compelling and humorous satire of the disparity of the realities of life in major urban cities.

While the first half of this record does outshine the second half, it is still a solid release and shows the band delivering on its massive hype.
mikexdude:

"Massive hype" is right.

Even during the band's infancy, everything from daily MySpace bulletins to word-of-mouth via casual conversations at local shows had sported the name Trapped Under Ice in some form or another. From the driving, slightly cracked hi-hat behind their playbook of unsettling chord changes, the band easily dismissed the title of "hype band" with a promising demo and a close to flawless NYHC-inspired EP -- their debut full-length Secrets of the World could not have been recorded under more pressure.

And they deliver, for the most part.

"See God," "Gemini" and "TUI" all share some of the more lovable aspects to the band: catchiness. The rhythms stick in your head and the lyrics and flow grab you like a good rap hook, while the remainder of the album demolishes your tender ear drums with heaviness, though sometimes risking quality control over the lyrics. It's a bit of a misstep considering how refreshing Stay Cold was lyrically, but the songwriting of the instrumentals makes everything that much better. The latter half of Secrets of the World takes that "songwriting" and flirts around the border of their comfort zone. "Eye Hand" breaks into a grooving melodic guitar solo to segue into some diminished layers; "From Birth" actually throws in a metal-esque single note riff; and, in general, there's a sense of the songs "breathing" more instead of riffing clutter.

Sure, the gang vocals should have been turned up, but Trapped Under Ice have done exactly what they should have done with Secrets of the World as a debut. "Highly recommended" is kind of an understatement.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
iamgodsongs (December 2, 2009)

just because macho tough-guy hardcore is what's popular right now doesn't mean it's the only going on. look harder and you might surprise yourself.

ugay (November 22, 2009)

this shit is fucking horrible

KevinH (September 6, 2009)

And by the way, I said that I thought the music was decent. It was just the posturing and image-conscious side that bothered me.

KevinH (September 6, 2009)

I know that this attitude isn't new or anything, but in recent years hardcore has been parsed down to almost nothing outside of it. I have a very strong affinity for bands that manage to sidestep it and make music that doesn't fit that mold, but those bands are becoming more and more the minority. It just sucks that a genre of music that used to be about defying convention has now turned mostly into something with a very specific look and sound.

conduit (September 4, 2009)

I guess you guys will say what you will either way, done arguing about it. 2007 isn't that long ago, but I could really care less about a bad promo photo and that doesn't change the fact that this album is awesome and most of the kids in here talking about how lame the photo is judged the band completely on face value and haven't listened to the record.

The fact of the matter is anyone who claims that this kind of thing has "ruined" hardcore obviously doesn't know jack shit about the genre, as this "image" or aesthetic has been around forever.

I'll go ahead and keep listening to one of the best hardcore release of 2009, and I guess you guys can keep judging a book by it's cover, have fun with that.

Tom_Deschlonge (September 4, 2009)

Conduit, the photo was taken in 2007. Yes, technically it was taken "years ago," but the photograph is recent enough that I don't think these guys have matured all of a sudden or anything. This is simple macho posturing.

And mikexdude, don't get so upset everytime someone insults your favorite band. The problem with the people on this website is that if you say anything bad about a band that everyone is jizzing themselves over, they jump all over you. If I had said the same thing about Terror or Madball, no one would have given a shit. And you really need to cool it with the fucking hyperbole. Proof that I serve no purpose to the human race? How the fuck would you know?

MyStereoHasMono (September 4, 2009)

conduit is fucking stoked.

conduit (September 4, 2009)

Yeah, the macho/toughguy stuff just now filtering into hardcore, because Madball haven't been a band since the early 90's, right?

The simple fact of the matter is that people on this board take a picture taken years ago when they put a demo out, a picture that is the only one of it's kind, that could possibly very well be a joke into more account then actually listening to the music the band is making. I'm not missing the point of the picture, trust me on that one, it's a goofy, stupid fucking picture, but to say some picture taken defines everything about a band because a couple of members had their shirts off and "looked like they were tough" is dumb and pretty much eliminates any kind of argument being waged because it's completely based on visuals, which will never ever be what music is about.

nick_heitman (September 3, 2009)

just dropping by to say that JUSTICE TRIPP is probably the nicest dude i've ever met in hardcore, or anywhere really. i don't know how serious that cover is, but i'd rather listen to the demo than stress over the picture on it. weird, i know, but it works for me.

KevinH (September 3, 2009)

Image certainly isn't everything, but I think you're missing the point of that phrase. After all, it's the band that is posturing and trying to fit into an image. It's not like I'm disliking a band because of that photo. I think the music is decent, but the fact that they took a photo like this at all shows that they're the ones clearly concerned with image, trying to shoehorn it to fit the macho, brocore bullshit that has invaded hardcore and changed it for the worse.

They may very well be decent guys, and like I said, I think the music is decent. This whole thing just reaks of "trying too hard," which is just not necessary, and in this case, hilarious.

conduit (September 3, 2009)

This record is awesome, maybe if some of you toolbags would stop caring so much about some dumb promo photo taken years ago and actually listened to the album you would know that.

Oh I forgot, image is everything at punknews.org

HUH HUH HUH B-R-O-C-O-R-E

Man you are so creative, good one.

Tom_Deschlonge (September 3, 2009)

Do you know them personally?

B
R
O
C
O
R
E

mikexdude (September 3, 2009)

Yo, Tom

How about this: Why don't you stop bringing personal attacks to people you don't even know. You're only making yourself look like a huge sack, of worthless shit that isn't even worth putting in a bag and lighting it on fire to put in front of someone porch. Though, at least you'd be lit on fire and stepped on furiously. Seriously, the fact you even think to type such comments proves you serve no value to the this website or the human race. Hyperbole? No. That kind of thing disgusts me in people. You make think they look like douchebags, but you act like one. Congradulations for your irony.

I don't mind if you post a comment saying you don't like the music, but you forget they're people too. Respect, dude.

Tom_Deschlonge (September 3, 2009)

Dude, there's a guy in the band named JUSTICE TRIPP. SERIOUSLY? Can we stop defending these assmunchers?

OverDefined (September 3, 2009)

â??you canâ??t judge a book by its cover.â?ť

It would be different if these guys were working on a roof and some other guy came up to them and asked, "Hey can take a picture of you guys for the cover of your demo 7"?" and then they got down off the roof and took the photo. But how unlikely is that? This photo is the height of nonviolent, macho shitheadedness.

I'll admit though, I wish I had a body like one of those guys.
---------------

You are still judging a book by its cover here. You said what you think of it. My point was forget about that for a minute and listen because this band is awesome.

Tom_Deschlonge (September 3, 2009)

â??you canâ??t judge a book by its cover.â?ť

It would be different if these guys were working on a roof and some other guy came up to them and asked, "Hey can take a picture of you guys for the cover of your demo 7"?" and then they got down off the roof and took the photo. But how unlikely is that? This photo is the height of nonviolent, macho shitheadedness.

I'll admit though, I wish I had a body like one of those guys.

hamonrye (September 3, 2009)

I'd like to personally thank Blackjaw for the line "He had a choice, and he chose brodom."

mikexdude (September 2, 2009)

don't get why there's two reviews when they say the same thing.

Yeah, I know. Originally when we planned the split, I didn't like this album. In the end, I still wanted my review posted. But in the process, it grew a shit load on me. As for this is hell, mine was originally up and then glasspipemurder submitted the review; it'd be fucked up to submit this split thing and not do that one. Here we are.

slowstupidhungry (September 2, 2009)

I don't get why there's two reviews when they say the same thing.

KevinH (September 2, 2009)

these homies will never live down that band photo. Did they take their shirts off just for the photo shoot?

Haha, seriously. I imagine them saying "Bro, let's take our shirts off and show off our sweet pecs!! Hardcore!"

hamonrye (September 2, 2009)

these homies will never live down that band photo. Did they take their shirts off just for the photo shoot?

everydayballoons (September 2, 2009)

terrible band.

beale21 (September 2, 2009)

tui til' i die

T-Rock (September 1, 2009)

All I remember about this band is their hilarious band photo.

rugget (September 1, 2009)

this band is awesome

nick_heitman (September 1, 2009)

great record.

Cheesetits (September 1, 2009)

The fuck?

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