Trash Knife - Weird Daze (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Trash Knife

Weird Daze (2023)

Big Neck Records

The wonderful thing about Trash Knife is that they hide high concept metaphysic musing in a ragged-and-in-the-gutter coat. Also, they have really banging riffs. At their core, they kick out snappy but edgy punk rock reminiscent of the Early LA scene- a little Alice Bag here, maybe a sprinkle of Germs there, and just the tiniest bit of mean-spirited nihilism a la Black Randy. Weird Daze, the band’s first proper LP (which follows a string of Eps, singles, and a comp or two), boils everything the band does great into its purest form and then, here’s the twist, they throw some curve balls on the record.

Frustration and crumbling mental health is the thread that connects the tissue here, “Party Friends” finds singer Lauren at a party, looking around at here associates, and she realizes that the people there aren’t here “friends,” they are just people that like to drink and do drugs at places where there are drinks and drugs, which is where she finds herself. But much like classic Avengers and Alcie Bag, while the platform is built from personal confusion and anger, the structure erected from the foundation is decidedly political, even if it’s not direct in the sense of Crass or Conflict. “D.T.F” has what might be my favorite zinger of the year- “Yeah I’m down to fuck… fuck shit up!” It’s poetically vague but you get the gist of exactly what the band wants to fuck up.

The band again bases their crunch and snap in the aforementioned influences, but they pull right move and expand on what they’ve done- David Bowie once said something along the lines that if you can feel your feet on the bottom of the ocean, you’re not out far enough, but if you are where you can just barely stay above the waves, you’re in the sweet spot. Trash Knife are in the sweet spot here. Sure, there are slamming hardcore and punk riffs a plenty, that have a certain poppiness to them, which is always the bets of trick of the hardcore titans (it’s actually catchy music played with an edge instead of PURE bashing). But, on “Some Days,” the band expands into a sort of post-punk thunder clash. Thagt is, where riffage has a certain comforting circularity and swing, for once, the band throws things off kilter. “’60s psycho’ also has a neat part where the guitars spin into dangerous clacking that sounds like a train screeching down the rails. “Mind Bendy” also has a really cool whirl-whirrl-whirrrl in it.

If you look on the albums back cover, there’s a picture of industrial decay. The front shows the band defiantly standing in the famed FDR skatepark- a famous Philly landmark that is really just a waste zone of garbage and rubble and some cool skate ramps. As the band mentions on Zombies, “Everywhere I stand, zombies everywhere” likely referencing the wastoids and ne’er-do-wells in the punk scene as well as people that just fall in line in both “normie” and “punk” life. That is, the band finds themselves in the middle of wreckage. They don’t want to be absorbed into the gray void, but they also find comfort with the freaks and weirdos. But, as you know, for some reason, sometimes they are creative people reaching for the stars in the freaks and weridos, and sometimes its just a bunch of junkies and users trying to pull you down to their level… or below. On Weird Daze, Trash Knife is making this realization and appear to make the leap upward out of the grasps on junk-zombies. It’s a thrilling turn of events for the band… and let’s hope they keep climbing without looking down.