Trash Talk remain one of the most exciting bands to see in hardcore
Trash Talk plus Youth Man and Ditz
Date: 6th March 2017
Venue: Bleach, Brighton
I’m going to start this review by telling you about my first Trash Talk experience. April 2010, supporting Cancer Bats. I was a young eager gig goer at the barrier of the Relentless Garage in London with no expectations of this Sacramento four piece. Just seconds after the band hit the stage, frontman Lee Spielman dived off the crowd, catching me right in the face with his knee before I knew what hit me. That was my introduction to what happens at hardcore shows. Having seen Trash Talk many times since I now know what kind of carnage to expect, and so did pretty much everyone at this sold out show at Bleach in Brighton.
Bleach was the eighth night on a tour throughout the United Kingdom with Birmingham outfit Youth Man, though it was Brighton noise-punk band Ditz as the local support to open the show. Ditz wasn’t quite what I was expecting for a Trash Talk show, especially when there is a decent collection of more suitable hardcore acts in Brighton. Nevertheless, the five-piece still impressed with their high energy and attention grabbing behaviour.
The frontman, Cal, liked to wander around the crowd, getting people caught up in his microphone cable as he shifted between drone-like singing and throaty shouts. The rest of the band delivered a barrage of fuzzy riffs with a hard-hitting attitude. Musically it was very lo-fi, it was incredibly raw sounding. There was a plenty of heavy segments to rock out to, and just a few songs in there was a mosh pit started by the few highly enthusiastic crowd members. From then on, the singer tried his best to get more people involved. It was the last track that pricked my ears the most. Instead of singing, Cal decided to play with a variation of delayed sound effects as they were layered on top of more crushing hooks. It was an interesting set to open the night, it’s raw atmosphere and unwavering angst set a tone for the night. 
Trash Talk’s touring buddies, Youth Man followed up with that similar raw punk feel, with a really punchy attitude. The Birmingham trio unleashed what could be classed as poppy-hardcore. The drumming was highly energetic and erratic in places, though for most of the set it was full of bouncy beats. The guitars switched from crunchy riffs to catchy hooks and melodies. The same diverse nature can be said for Kaila Whyte’s vocal capacity as she produced a mixture of wild screaming shouts and a quirky singing voice.
It took a little while for the crowd to really get into it. Whyte had to ask the crowd to come closer after, and about four songs in, during ‘Pig’, the crowd started their first mosh pit to the set. After that, the adrenaline kicked in for the audience and the pits got bigger and harder, much to Whyte’s delight as she claimed: “This is more like it”. From what started off slowly, this became a chaotic little set closer to the end, with people occasionally diving off the stage. This was however just a taste of what was still to come. 
Trash Talk hit the stage with a huge welcome from the crowd. “We’re Trash Talk from California” stated Lee Spielman before launching into a heavy intro piece that instantly had the pits started. Trash Talk then moved swiftly into the popular bruiser, ‘Walking Disease’. To put into some context to how crazy the scenes got, before the track even finished, a girl ran past me with a bloody nose, and just a couple of songs later the mic cable snapped. Spielman just had to stand there holding the mic up and the broken cable for the sound guy to see.
While the technician was on stage to fix the issue, Spielman said: “We’re gonna keep things moving, try not to bump into the sound guy as you do you thing”. What followed was more carnage and stage dives. Chaotic pits flowed through more older favourites such as ‘Dig’, ‘F.Y.R.A’ and ‘Worthless nights’. During ‘Hash Wednesday’ Spielman came into the crowd and got on a fan’s shoulders. He dangled the microphone over the heads of the audience as they sang along to the vocals of bassist, Spencer Pollard, who was stood on the speaker stack. Spielman then purposely collapsed forward into the crowd, like a trust fall. Check out the clip below.
This was the exact kind of messy show I expected from Trash Talk. It might not have been the wildest I’ve seen them (nothing will beat the time bins were thrown around during their set at Reading 2010), but it was immensely entertaining to watch everyone lose their shit. The band made sure everyone was having fun, making them feel involved, invoking fist pumps and inviting people to grab the mic and sing along. The Sacramento quartet are yet to disappoint me. I came into the night blind about the support, probably not the best thing to do for a music journalist. But, both Ditz and Youth Man were a pleasant surprise. Even if I wouldn’t pigeonhole them as the ideal support for Trash Talk, they put on some solid, energetic sets that entertained and warmed the crowd up just enough for Trash Talk to do their thing. Overall it was a great night.