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The year 2007-2008 was a great time for skate punk with a lot of important projects taking place, not to mention a lot of great releases. Back then the Swedish scene may have been on a temporary decline but the rest of Europe was picking up the slack. One of the bands keeping the skate punk scene thriving was Newcastle’s Tripdash.
I may have missed their EP “I’m Not An Artist” when it first came out in March 07’ but having listened to them again recently, its clear these guys are a mainstay in the UK punk scene. Think a more raw sounding A Wilhelm Scream meets Forus. These guys are a no bullshit type band, where what you hear is what you get. And what you get is fast punk rock with meaningful lyrics. The lyrics touch many important issues that affect our world today. The main thing is that the guys bring on incredible passion with the recording of these songs and I’m positive that the same can be said on stage.
First off, “I’m Not the Artist” starts up the EP with good speed and a very strong vocal line. It is a very tech song as a matter of fact. If you listen to all the details you can see the finer points. With this track you get a good sense of the recording and it’s a sweet raw feeling type studio release. Johnny has a Nuno from AWS accented voice which fits perfectly with the band’s style. Throughout the album he brings the energy and keeps up with the speed variations. Continuing, we have “Clicks” which has awesome guitars and a strong bass line. (The bass lines excel throughout the EP; strong point.) This song would definitely have the potential to be a single on the EP. It slows down a bit compared to the other tracks but still has the same elements. “Redlight” is the song that really got me into these guys; Johnny really shows his potential on the mic and from start to finish the song drives at full speed. The only thing I can say about “The Strength of Meaning” is, “Ah darn, I wish it’d be longer” The vocals lines are crazy good, for example, around the 30 sec. and 1:15 marks. Something I didn’t mention before was that the back vocals were recorded very well and remind me of good hardcore back ups ala Canada’s Comeback Kid. I think you need those type of back ups in songs today since if you want to send a message then send it loud for god sake!! “Are We Still the Same?” brings a jazzy type vocal structure so that means the bass is one of the main focuses of the track. The chorus line, in my opinion, is the strongest of the EP. Around the 2:20 mark the vocals remind me of some newer Raised Fist, minus the hardcore touch obviously. In the end, “Mary Whitehouse is Dead” finishes the EP with a powerful standout track! As they say, keeping the best for last. I also love the inclusion of the narrative at the end; blends in very well.
Overall, these guys bring it and do not fail. With this release, the band gave us an indication that the best would have been yet to come… RIP Tripdash (2004-2009).