It’s hard to tell just how serious local punk rockers, Trashkannon, are being, especially on their new album Crappy Days. Their breed of loud, middle-finger-waving, three-chord skate punk is so perfectly composed and so flawlessly offensive, it makes one wonder, “Is it a joke?”
The answer, I wager, is yes and no. Trashkannon are a tongue-in-cheek characterization of purposely offensive, over-the-top punk rock—their crazy live shows and comically ridiculous videos attest to that. Yet, it really is gritty, raw punk rock.
It’s just that the core members have so many other highly varied bands—Language Arts Crew (hip hop), Whiskey Avengers (ska), Insolence (nu-metal)—that they need to create whole new identities for every possible musical genre they play.
A major part of the Trashkannon identity is that off-the-wall madness, which is meant to be funny more than actually offensive. Crappy Days soars through nine songs in 21 minutes, cramming in references to zombies, cops, sex and finger-pulling. The title track—one of the funniest on the record—starts out sounding like a depressive “woe is me” pop-punk song, which quickly degrades into a series of sing-along “fuck you’s” and then ultimately shifts into an upbeat parody of the Happy Days theme song—only instead of “happy days” it’s “crappy days.”
What distinguishes Trashkannon from the standard, run-of-the-mill outrageous punk band, is how good the musicianship is, which shines through in subtle complexities, even if they intended to sound simple and unsophisticated. Songs “Rampage” and “Zombies” have breakdowns and accents that are perfectly syncopated and flawlessly executed.
Truly no die-in-the-wool punk rockers would be capable of such perfection. It would take the work of the truly diverse, well-studied musicians—even if they like to pretend they’re just a bunch of goons.
Trashkannon play Johnny V’s on Friday October 5th at 9pm. Tickets are $5.