Photo: Samantha Marble
Photo: Samantha Marble

One of the albums guaranteed to truly rip your face off this year is 'Darker Handcraft' from Trap Them. Noisecreep is beyond proud to give our readers first listen to the album's neck-slicing opener 'Damage Prose'. Vocalist Ryan McKenney explains that 'Damage Prose' was the first song guitarist Brian Izzi and drummer Chris Maggio sent his way to begin the lyric writing process.

"It took me a few listens to grasp it, but my immediate thoughts revolved around hearing the progression in our songwriting. I could recognize areas where I'd have breathing room, vocally. It just sounded huge and intense, and was a perfect way to set the tone as far as what I was able to expect," McKenney told Noisecreep. "I couldn't have asked for more. Brian and Chris worked their asses off on this record, and it's evident."

Listen to Damage Prose

As has been the case with all previous Trap Them releases, the lyrics of the new album focus around tales of the working class and small town life. Often, entire fictitious communities are created as a backdrop for the album. The intricately-woven angsty lyrics always match the Entombed-like buzz-saw tone of the band. "I write stories, and then later on I decide which ones relate to Trap Them," McKenney reveals. " I've always written the lyrics for this band far before any music is ever written. More often than not, I write things that I don't consider being lyrical, but then have to rethink that when I have a certain song sent to me that I find can work."

"There's no concern of restrictions with what I made up, mostly because I can contort it however I want," McKenney says. "It all falls under the sun of this place. I don't believe in fiction. I don't believe that there is something that we can create in our heads that won't ever exist in real life. Whatever subject I approach, in whatever way, I see no boundaries or taboo elements."

A Trap Them live show is a sight to behold; the band plays with true abandon while giving a big middle finger to the big production style that's gaining popularity in all forms of underground music. There is no product-selling mindset -- just an unhinged foursome who will probably put bruises and cuts on you if you get too close to the stage.

Capturing such a force on record can be quite a task. McKenney explains that the key is to look at live performance and studio recording as different approaches. "I personally feel that all of our recordings have a warmer feel and [are] the closest we could come, in a confined situation, to emulating the live [show] setting. The thing is, recording and playing live are two completely different entities, so we approach them that way. We write and record a record that we know we can play from beginning to end on stage. From there, it's a matter of how we want those songs to come across live and how we want to present them."

If dropping the needle is your preferred way to listen to an album as devious as 'Darker Handcraft,' you're in luck! The album's vinyl is out today, while the CD and other digital formats will be released March 15th.

"Vinyl has always been our format of choice, or, at least, the one most important to us," says McKenney. "The overall presentation, audibly and visually, [vinyl] comes across much closer to what we, as a band, consider all-encompassing. I'm happy the vinyl is being released before the CD. As far as this band goes, it just makes sense."

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