The New Hampshire band Trap Them shows off its appreciation for hardcore's past and its vision for the form's future on its second full-length, a breathtaking blast of punk fury and musical imagination that immediately propels the band into a position as one of the most exciting young groups around. Not that many people will notice—the controlled chaos of Seizures in Barren Praise was born for cult status, until a few years from now when dozens of even younger bands will be ripping them off.
The disc, produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, captures both the widescreen emotional outpouring of Ballou's band and the pummeling, downtuned pace of crust punk like Discharge and Amebix. Pace is the key to Seizures, in fact—the band constantly shifts gears, hitting all-out grind and shout-out-loud breakdowns and every conceivable tempo in between. Guitarist Brian Izzi finds shades of texture to complement the speed, too, from spiky, dissonant leads and angular digressions to full-on power-chord progressions.
It's all deceptively simple, but there's nothing easy about Seizures in Barren Praise—the band's on top of what they're doing, and you better be strapped in, too.