REVIEW: Trapped Under Ice – Big Kiss Goodnight

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Artist: Trapped Under Ice
Album: Big Kiss Goodnight
Genre: Hardcore
Label: Good Fight Music

Music’s vernacular evolutions on a generation to generation basis is unavoidable but the modern day hardcore scene has suffered from extreme image transformations as each band is trying to look tougher and sound tougher than the last. The race to have tighter pants or bigger stretched ears have seemingly taken over what the forefathers of the genre built the hardcore scene upon, passion and unleashing havoc while speaking through music. Trapped Under Ice bring back those days where heart conquered needing to fit in as they rose from humble beginnings as a Baltimore basement secret to a worldwide success following their “Stay Cold” Ep release.  They quickly generated a buzz within the alternative community as their debut album, “Secrets Of The Wind,” proved Trapped Under Ice take a traditional but sustaining formula for heavy music to set themselves apart from the majority of mindless carbon-copies overflowing the scene. Two years in the making, Trapped Under Ice paired up with producer Chad Gilbert (New Found Glory) to release their newest mosh-pit inducing creation, Big Kiss Goodnight.

Trapped Under Ice waste no time getting the listener’s need to move on opener, “Born To Die,” as they establish a familiar hardcore blueprint of, sludge-heavy breakdowns, deep bass lines, and rallies of chants primed specifically with an intense live show in mind.  The record adheres very closely to this formula but the fast intricate guitar work on, “Pleased To Meet You,” and “Outcast,” are where they spice up their otherwise mid-tempoed mosh numbers. The midpoint highlight, “Time Waits,” serves as an epitome of the talent each member possesses and the quality of their songwriting. The opening bars unleash a resonating bass line that ascends to heavy distortion as a fury of drum beats clash in and a stop and go rhythm steals the show. One of the biggest differences from their earlier work is Trapped Under Ice’s heightened emphasis on melody that’s tastefully sprinkled throughout the whole album.

Vocalist Justice Tripp’s standard fare growls remain relatively unchanged aside from naturally progressing to a higher-registered scream that’s more solid than ever. His aggressive demeanor is paired with a heartfelt lyrical approach as he speaks about the struggles of finding his way in a world filled with deceit. You can hear the remorse and animosity in his voice as he screams “From time to time, you slip through the cracks of my mind, I try but I just can’t keep my hard feelings inside,” on “Dead Inside.” His downtrodden feelings towards love is nothing short of relatable but sometimes come across as cheesy as he states, “A thousand miles away but you can catch me blowing kisses,” on the catchiest track “True Love.” Surprisingly enough, even tough guys have a sensitive side and his ability to wear his heart on his sleeve makes for a sincere outing. The singing additions on, “Dead Inside,” and use of strange soundscapes, “You and I,” and “Reality Unfolds,” are entirely hit-or-miss, but always happen to catch the listener’s attention.

Trapped Under Ice adopt the prototype that other hardcore bands have instilled and in many ways Big Kiss Goodnight sounds all too familiar, but they’ve reworked their craft in a way that secures them a prevalent spot in the scene. Their music is downright aggressive creating ample amount of sonic rage with crunchy guitars, frenzied riffs and passion-filled lyricism.  Trapped Under Ice maintains one of the few modern day hardcore bands that have the ability to write catchy songs while retaining what made the genre a success in the first place.

SCORE: 8.5/10
Written by: Nerissa Judd

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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