VG22    TRENCHER "When Dracula Thinks "Look At Me""


from Drowned In Sound

A co-release across some six (that's six) labels, self-proclaimed Casio-grind trio Trencher's 'When Dracula Thinks "Look At Me"' is the sort of record that'll give half its listeners cold-sweat and vomit inducing nightmares, and the other sick, sick half the wettest dreams of their lives. It's wrong, all wrong, yet so, so right. It's music to watch a mangling by - the soundtrack to some non-existent film about a murderer who gets off by twisting his victim's body into a pretzel-shaped mess of broken bone and severed flesh. It will, eventually, make you physically sick, like eating as many Mars bars as there are hours in the day in one ten-minute sitting. But you'll love it, and then lap it all up again as you would your own hot, chocolatey spew.

Unless, of course, you're one of those close-minded people who won't dip someone else's toe, let alone your own, into the pond of musical experimentation in which Trencher reside. Fine, you stick to your mall rock and corporate emo, but we'll know where the passion and the fury really is. It's right here - 14 tracks in 17 minutes. Nothing but gargled screams, fucked-up keys and the maddest drumming this side of Animal if he was infected a la those blood-spitting freaks in '28 Days Later'. Trencher make The Locust sound as lightweight as Counting Crows (but with better hair), and a driverless bulldozer crashing through a bus depot full of passengers as graceful as Mozart. The song titles are as mad as the music itself - 'Illuminated Dead', 'Dead At Work' and 'Hispanic Telepathy Attack' leaping off the cover like flys fleeing a spent corpse. Sound crap to you? Fine, don't buy it; it's your decision. Loser.

Me? I've just found an excuse to go to bed early at night. Best dig out that plastic undersheet though, and fetch a bucket. I feel a gut-rot coming on.

from Collective

Many of you reading this will already have born witness to one of Trencher's many live performances, a spectacle that is baffling and terrifying in equal measures. This fourteen track, seventeen minute affair is a gleeful attempt at grappling that insanity, dragging it to the floor and forcibly committing it to the confines of a skinny piece of shining plastic.

For those hermetic souls unfamiliar with Trencher's racket, it amounts to more noise than should plausibly be wrought from a drum kit, bass guitar, dysfunctional keyboard and set of vocal cords. An uncomfortably fast splatter of damaged art-grind interwoven with synthetic blips, Hammer Horror keyboard parts and a threatening, guttural roar that suggests it's owner's favourite food is dead babies. Brief, unpleasant, and thoroughly worthy. One for the odd sorts who give equal time in their daily listening to the likes of Gasp, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Melt Banana and East/West Blast Test. Two thumbs up.

from Smoking Beagle

"Hmmm Casio grind, the kids are going to love it!". At least 6 indie labels are thinking this exact phrase right now. For they have all seen fit to unleash Trencher's proper debut full-length on the braying herd of skinny, cap wearing boys and cuddly girls with bad hair.

And we use the term 'full-length' very inadvisably. What you get here is 14 tracks coming in under 20 minutes. That's including at least 5 minutes of silence in the final track. This thing is so short that half the disc is totally clear. Which looks quite cool.

Trencher are sucking on the same mutant strain of hardcore splatter that infects the likes of The Locust and Arab on Radar. Their common gene is playing way short non-tunes that mix wild noise with death metal lurching and absurdism. Every nugget on this record is simultaneously horrifying and hilarious. The application of a tiny toy keyboard to squeeze cheesy hammer horror melodies on top of the heavily distorted bass and wildman drums ratchets the absurdity up again.

They've been banging this shit out for roughly 5 years now, originally as a 2 piece, mastering the self-imposed limits of their craft through cassettes and 7"s. Leaving torn larynxes and splintered wood in their wake, Trencher have played up and down the country and continent with both the aforementioned bands and a host of other empathetic noisy bastards. And whilst their sets are as short as this record they're always great value.

So on 'Dracula...' you join them as they reach the peak of their powers. For whilst the music is brutal and bewildering at first, these guys are damn tight. The changes between slow grind and full on thrash are all executed skilfully. The drums and bass work is always imaginative and interesting, even in isolation and all 3 members contribute screaming vocals, creating a messy cacophony and raising the intensity further.

So what sucks about this record? a) Bonus tracks and silence on CD's has always been crap. b) The cover looks ace but the rest of the artwork is a cheapshot.

And that's it. The record handily lasts just about the right length of time to make your dinner and is only a fiver from the ever-excellent Jonson Family records. Go get.

Trencher are underground legends in waiting. File under hardcore, funsized

from thecommunion

This album is being co-released by six, yes SIX different labels. How the fuck does that work then? Can someone explain that to me, please? I guess we shouldnt have expected anything 'normal' from Trencher though.

Simplistically speaking, if someone ran up to Horse the Band, stole their keyboards, and gave them to Palehorse whilst imposing strict 1 minute song sanctions upon the band, they might end up sounding something like this. Whilst far better produced than any of their previous material, this is still a strictly lo-fi experience.

Trencher have bass, drums, keyboards and vocals. They also have velocity, a hint of The Locust and some unhinged ideas. This adds up to a good thing.

When the keyboards are allowed to flourish, as on standout track 'Illuminated Dead', Trencher sound amazing. Here the keyboards, add a quirky-ness (not to mention element of melody), that make Trencher stand out. Elsewhere however, some tracks can come across as simply a lo-fi mess of overdriven bass, spazzy-grind drums and random yelps.

This is a satisfying debut album, which acts as a good starting point for the band. However theres still some work to be done...

7/10 (www.thecommunion.co.uk)

from Rough Trade

Finally the monster nuclear assault debut album from Trencher arrives. 14 humour filled casio blasts in a 31g / load style. devastating, crushing and the first great hardcore album from the uk in 13 years. CD only and co-released on six labels at the price of a CD single

from Diskant

Another debut album worth noting is that of London's own Trencher, cleverly entitled When Dracula Thinks 'Look At Me'. And there are a few remarkable things you should know about this record:

- It was released by 6 (count 'em) labels. What the fuck is going on there?

- It's got 14 songs on it, and lasts but 17 minutes.

- It features bass, drums and a tiny weeny casio keyboard that was probably bought from a car boot sale in 1991.

The photograph in the booklet of the band practising with this ickle thing up on three crates could well be the best thing about Trencher. Their music, whether they call it 'casio-grind' or not, is an aggressive and horrible enough attack on spasticism so as to recall the inimitable The Locust and other luminaries of the Gravity and 31G worlds, yet they're from our own backyard, bless 'em. And it really is music that makes you feel grubby, dirty, and occasionally maybe even a little violated, like you're waking up from a night before that you can't remember in a puddle with your pants around your ankles and shit smeared up your thighs. Oh, and the cheesy little keyboard lines are like someone's little brother coming along and spitting in your eye as you stagger to your feet. Charming.

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