Forwards ever, backwards never. In a perfect world, those four words would tell you everything you need to know about Sacramento thrash-punk juggernaut Trash Talk. But in a perfect world, these four furious scions of guitar-wrought destruction wouldn’t exist. Lee, Garrett, Spencer and Sam are fueled by our ugly world, and they give it back in spades. The Trash Talk live grind is a notorious thing — an anarchic, energetic and often painful paean to otherwise oppressed angst that’s unsurprisingly found footing all over the world, from the U.S. to Europe, to Australia and Japan. And in between that nearly ceaseless touring, the band’s matched its on-the-road fervor with an impressive collection of recorded brutality, from 2009′s “East of Eden” single featuring vocals from hardcore icon Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Off!), to last year’s ragged full-length masterpiece Eyes & Nines, to their recent split 7-inch with Wavves.
On, Awake, the brand new 7-inch EP for True Panther Sounds, Trash Talk continue to bodily propel their sound down the gnarled, grime-swathed path they’ve hewn for themselves. The aptly named opener “Awake” careens through the gate in a hail of shred. “Slander” squeals, stacks, smashes and releases in one minute flat, while “Blind Evolution” seems epic at over two, progressing from rapid thrash to a grungy, halftime sludge. Then, in comes “Burn Alive,” tailor-made to elicit air punches (be aware of your surroundings when you drop the needle), with its screeched out anti-wisdom: “The good die young, but the great survive.” Finally, “Gimme Shelter” brings things to a punishing, pummeling close and it all happens so quickly, so feverishly that the listener’s left beaten, bruised and ears bleeding with no real sense of what just happened. Which is, of course, how Trash Talk likes it. Forwards ever, backwards never.