Album of the Week: Confidence, by Trash Kit
Upset the Rhythm
What makes a band authentic? In the age of the crafted image, we've become professional ironists, practised at recognising artifice and ridiculing sentiment. Perhaps authenticity, then, lies in the ability to befuddle this urge - in short, to make us feel something.
On the London-based Trash Kit's second LP, they go a long way towards achieving this elusive goal. The women - Ros Murray, Rachel Horwood and Rachel Aggs - create music with something approaching abandon; they are aesthetically free and wildly gestural. This is a band you may see at a neighbourhood gig, and suddenly realise: "This is good."
Despite their limber thrashing and flailing, any appearance of spontaneity is misleading. Confidence is carefully considered and arranged. As Paul Thompson writes in Pitchfork, it's "a million small gestures arranged with jaw-dropping exactitude".
The album swings like a metronome between controlled chaos and loose melody. The songs often begin with an almost beachy ska sunniness and slowly contort into anger and irony. The rhythmic tension between joy and rage reminds me, above all, of Tune-Yards. But I also think of The Bangles and Siouxsie Sioux.
It's almost too easy to call this a comment on womanhood, but the feminist undertones are there. Then again, does any cohesive, convincing articulation on modern womanhood have to be taken expressly as such?
Trash Kit revel in the ambiguity; they buck all cliché. They are neither hard nor soft, masculine nor feminine, difficult nor easy. They are confident, and it is good.