TRASHCAN DARLINGS – Getting Away With Murder


StrangeDolls Records
Release date: August 28, 2006

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Norway gets plenty of press and exposure in the current age for its development of the Black Metal genre, but one of the unfortunate best-kept secrets of this comparatively diminutive nation is a magnificent band that calls themselves Trashcan Darlings (TDs), a band carrying the torch for all who believe that music and its presentation should be defiant, seedy, and debauched from soup to nuts. Yes, the TDs play a wonderful blend of Melodic Punk Rock (in the vein of Hanoi Rocks and The Ramones) combined with touches of Glam Metal as it used to be played when bands like Motley Crue and Ratt first hit the scene.

The Punk aspect of their delivery ensures TDs’ music is going to be upbeat, fun, and off-kilter, while the Glam Metal aspect of their compositions ensures quality musicianship remains at the forefront of their creations … a superb blend, when you really think about it. Recently, the TDs celebrated their 10-year anniversary, so evidently they are doing something right, and if anything, their live act has been the reason why they’ve been able to hold it all together … with their shocking stage-friendly look and attire, and plenty of infectious attitude and vigor, taking in a TD show is for all intents and purposes an interactive athletic event for all in attendance (individual consent notwithstanding).

Now 11 years into it, the TDs have released a 12-track CD entitled Getting Away With Murder, highly anticipated by their fans as their last taste of new material came in the form of Tunes From The Trashcan, a 4-song EP released back in 2004. Tunes From The Trashcan was nothing short of phenomenal, begging the question: Could the TDs pull together a full-length CD of the same quality?

Well, the answer is an unequivocal “yes” and “no.” Like the EP, Getting Away With Murder includes refreshingly peculiar song titles, topics, and themes, huge heaps of quality Punk Glam Metal featuring very original riffs and lyrics, and a glut of Rock ‘n’ Roll fun and energy. Songs like the openers “The Violent Years” and “Rocket Madonna” are precisely what the doctor ordered and sound exactly like what you’d expect from the TDs (for those familiar with the band), and songs like “Back To The Parti” and “Please Darlings Please” impregnate your immediate desire to sing along during the choruses … even upon the first listen. In fact, there are no weak tracks amongst the 12 on offer here … even at the end of the CD, a point when filler songs typically are inclined to run rampant through most releases, the tracks “Because You’re Young” and “Sinister Ride,” with their almost Violent Femmes-ish bass work, may actually be the best and most original tracks on the whole release.

But, something IS missing on this release … and that is a similar production quality compared to the Tunes From The Trashcan EP. The EP sounded like a studio-mixed set of recorded songs. Things were tailored and deliberate –- the bass end, especially, was pronounced both from the bassist’s and drummer’s perspectives, and for any band that incorporates a derivative of the Punk genre into their persona, that low end trait is the needed icing on the cake. It adds depth to the soundscape of the songs and provides an element of professional power. The TDs opted in Getting Away With Murder to focus more on a “live” sound this time around … and you know what? They 100% succeeded in accomplishing that “live sounding” goal. However, this production method just doesn’t do these 12 tracks justice. What has ended up happening is that vocalist Strange? Gentle comes across distant in the mix and the bass and drums sound inappropriately subdued. All is consistent, to the band’s credit, and it just may be a matter of taste, but the feeling you get when you listen to this new TD album is that an already good album could have been outstandingly flawless … especially when compared to the sound of the Tunes … EP. Part of this change may have been due to the personnel changes within the band, as this new album introduces a new bassist in Q. Ken Rockers, as well as a new drummer, Andy Hunter … but, who knows if that really influenced this production philosophy change or not.

In the end, the TDs have further solidified that they can walk the walk and talk the talk. Prior efforts were no fluke … these guys are great, original songwriters and even better showmen. Check out this album if you like something a bit different and original, and by all means catch their show live if you ever get the chance! You won’t regret it!

Album: 12 tracks, 40 minutes


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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