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Final Trigger: Skrap Metal, Vol. II

I don't always understand the various uses of the word "urban" when applied to certain bands. Sure, I think I get the basic idea, but there's a tendency to use the term to suggest a variety of attitudes rather than real places. Still, as everyone knows, location matters. Final Trigger, for example, comes from one of Toronto's rough and tumble neighborhoods, an area known as The Block. Because of that, these guys bring to the term "urban" an attempt at authenticity, the kind sometimes invoked by rap artists, particularly when critics question their choice of lyrical themes. Artists from the urban jungle, to put it simply, have seen things, and they want to translate that experience into music.

The tendency to turn urban experience into a creative force has a long history, one that I won't rehearse here. As I listen to this album, though, I can't help but wonder just what these guys bring to the table. The main thing is the concept of "Skrap Metal," a new name for something that's been tried before, usually with mixed results. For this band, "Skrap Metal" refers to a conjoining of metal's aggressive power with a hip-hop groove. I like the idea, especially its playful and punny label.

The songs on this album aren't too bad, but I feel like I've heard variations on all of them. The band is best when they lead out with a strong and assertive opening, a reminder that they are, at least in part, a metal band. At other times, though, these guys ramp up their hip hop influences so much that the mood of the album shifts around too much. I have no problem with the intersection of metal and hip hop, but I'm not convinced that any one band has discovered just the right blend. Interested readers should check out "Just a Freak" and "Everday" for examples of how these guys draw on hip hop style. Some of the more metal-infused tracks are decent, but they don't always know what to do with all the various musical ideas contained in them. The final track, "T.H.C.," was especially weak in this regard.

I'd be curious to hear more from Final Trigger, especially if they can inject new life into the intersections between metal and hip hop. With this album, though, they don't seem to have enough of their own footing. With a little more honing of their sound and songwriting, I'm sure we'll hear some pretty strong stuff.

Track Listing:
1. Face It
2. Through the Darkness
3. Knock Somebody Out
4. Just a Freak
5. Time I've Wasted
6. Everday
7. T. H. C.

Added: July 26th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1803
Language: english

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