On paper, ‘Real Life Trash Mag’ promises plenty to whet the appetite. A line-up featuring the cream of Toronto’s underground scene (including Alexisonfire drummer Jordan Hastings) and co-produced by Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats) and Billy Talent’s own Ian D’Sa, the album follows four years of heavy touring since releasing their self-titled EP in 2012. Plenty time to get a killer set of tunes nailed down, right?
Kicking off with possibly the best opening tracks of the year, ‘Once Forward Twice Back’ erupts with a blueprint of what’s to come. Big fat riff, check. Awesome melody, check. Huge chorus, check. Hooks and harmonies galore, yep. The verses chug along like vintage Queens of the Stone Age and the dual vocals of guitarist Adam Michael and bassist Michael Zane are delivered impressively; genuinely aggressive when they need to be, and making use of the great harmonies and natural timbre of both voices.
‘Five Walls,’ ‘Too Much Not Enough’ and ‘Remorse is in the Flames’ reinforce the idea that this band are about riffs, and they make a huge noise for a trio. ‘Dying To Make You Blind’ and ‘Make it for Me’ change the mood and demonstrate the versatility of the three musicians as well as the spectrum of influences they draw from – nods to their previous work with elements of punk and grunge, but delivered in a straight up rock’n’roll package.
‘Sea Of Trees’ closes proceedings and again shows the variety of their repertoire – a five and half minute instrumental post-rock opus complete with hammond organ and full wig-out outro.
‘Real Life Trash Mag’ is a superb full-length debut effort from a band that have taken the best of their experience, and delivered something genuinely unlike anything else that’s out there at the moment. Fans of good time rock music across the board are in for a treat.
‘Real Life Trash Mag’ by Say Yes is released on 28th October on Dine Alone Records.
Words by Adam Lewis (@adamlew86)