Trash Wednesday

Trash Wednesday

CTP Records, 2001

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Trash Wednesday is a band which I've been trying to figure out for several months now. On one hand, their self-titled debut suggests that this four-piece group might represent what Material Issue would have sounded like had Jim Ellison come from Britain. On the other hand, the disc almost suggests that the group, led by vocalist Kid, is so laid back that this disc was done on auto-pilot, a feeling which sometimes works against them.

The band - Kid, guitarist Michael Stone, bassist Darrell Arnold and drummer Makoto - does seem to have a firm grasp on the concept of power pop, as these 11 songs demonstrate. Indeed, there is some material that suggests the group could have a solid future ahead of them. Tracks like "Stop Tina Modotti," "Obh Lah Lah" (whatever the hell my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 that's supposed to mean) and "Katerina" occasionally get a Smashing Pumpkins-like vibe going, which helps to kick the material into a whole new level musically. I'd venture to say that Trash Wednesday is closer to bands like Material Issue in style, but they do create their own voice quickly.

All of that said, it often feels like the band is so familiar with the material and the style that they get bored playing it. Listen to tracks like "Song Of Love" (which features a pseudo yodel from Kid) and try to point out a moment where the energy kicks above, oh, say 40 percent. Listen to "Love Ain't So Pretty (Anymore)" and find the areas which could have used another coat of paint or two - say, in the chorus development, or even in the basic chord progression of the song. Even find the areas where Kid's vocal could have been stronger - say, on "Blue Sky," at the points where his vocal not only drops off the face of the earth, but does so out of step with the song. (Damned shame, really, since this was one of the better songs on the disc.)

In a sense, I'd like to get excited about Trash Wednesday - if only the band seemed excited about their own material. Trash Wednesday is by no means a bad disc; if it was, I wouldn't have spent the better part of three months trying to get the nuances of it. There are signs in these songs that the band could well become a name to watch in the ever-expanding alternative rock field. (Actually, they're closer to true alternative rock than a lot of the musical sludge out there now.) Maybe Trash Wednesday falls prey to the same trap that so many other great bands have - namely, they're better live than in the studio. Until the day comes where I can fly out to see these guys perform, that will have to remain a mystery, and Trash Wednesday will have to be what I base my opinion on. Inject a little caffiene into the mix, and we might have something interesting from fade in to fade out. Until then - well, they did give it the old college try, and they came close to succeeding.

2001 Christopher Thelen and "The Daily Vault". All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission.

Rating: C

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© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of CTP Records, and is used for informational purposes only.