Static Thought - In the Trenches (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Static Thought

In the Trenches (2007)


My goodness! These boys need their mouths washed out with soap. Out of the 13 songs on In the Trenches, only two are clean -- meaning they don't have either the F-bomb or the dirty alternative to "poo" -- and one of the two is a Police cover! Considering lead singer Eric Urbach is just 17-years-old though, I feel his language is warranted, as he must be going through some post-pubescent angst, frustrated and confused at the new patches of hair and armpits that cry stinky tears.

All fun aside, In the Trenches is a startlingly impressive debut from the Bay Area foursome. Unlike Hellcat's earlier attempt at signing youth talent, Static Thought is more concerned with content than melody, more concerned with substance than style, and the result is resoundingly positive. The hardcore-by-means-of-street-punk is eerily similar to Rancid's 2000 offering, especially with vocals nearly identical to the unchained snarls of Lars Frederiksen. In fact, Mr. Frederiksen even makes a guest appearance on "Choice Through Struggle." The heavily distorted guitar playing and low, flat basslines give a nod to Black Flag or G.B.H., while the shout-along vocals lean towards something like the Unseen. In taking such a recipe for songwriting, Static Thought stays clear of the cliché lexis and predictable structure (i.e. verse/chorus/verse/chorus/breakdown/chorus) of much of today‘s hardcore. The lyrical content is highly political and social in nature, and although it could use some refining, still tackles issues straight on. "Infiltrated Minds," the one clean original Static Thought song, features a frenzied high-pitched guitar lead with drummer Travis Davant keeping up the frantic pace. The other clean song, a cover of "Next to You" by the Police is pretty well done, with a nice instrumental breakdown halfway through and a pleasantly gruff delivery.

Static Thought may be young, but they have only experience to gain. With a great start to their careers as musicians, In the Trenches provides an impressive first offering and a giant stepping stone towards Static Thought becoming a household…or apartment-hold…or shelter-hold name.