It’s safe to say that T.S.O.L, which stands for True Sounds Of Liberty, are a very influential punk rock band ever since their inception back in 1978 and are still pushing very strong and catchy jams. Now they are on to their 11th studio album and nearly their 40th year as a band and show no signs of slowing down. Hopefully ‘The Trigger Complex’ is a prime example of a band who still has it!
Within almost immediately of the first track hitting the sound, you are thrown back into the old school punk era that you’re used to listening to. ‘Bring Me More’ is a perfect way to kick off this album and bring you back into the nostalgic era of what defined the genre and that’s what it feels like it was meant to do. It gives you something amazingly classic to you and with tracks such as ‘Strange World’ giving you that other side of punk that isn’t as common but still brings you something to smile about.
Throughout the course of the record, they bring you a little bit of everything that is a throwback to you, but unfortunately, that’s the only seemingly strong piece of influence that sparks through this album. The album itself is enjoyable and has tracks such as ‘Wild Life’ having a bass heavy sound towards it and having a bit more of focus driven towards acoustic guitar alongside earlier songs on the album like ‘The Right Side’ which feels like it would be in place with old films like ‘Trainspotting’ with its simplistic motion and punchy lyrics/vocals pushing through.
The main downside of the record is that there doesn’t seem to be that much progression from the band after almost forty years. It’s easy to bring up the phrase ‘If it aint broke, don’t fix it’, but the sound carrying through from the 80’s upwards to just almost hitting a new decade in music makes this album feel like its drowning under the seas of new and opportunistic bands who are making and breaking much bigger boundaries because of these guys. In a way, this record is a nice way to see where all your current favourite artists came from and who they were strongly influenced by, especially with the more stronger punk rock influence driving tracks such as ‘Sometimes’.
Overall, this album does what it needed to do and it does it very well. The time has come now where the new breed is taking over and the old guard is still trying to keep up with what is being made and in some criteria it succeeds. T.S.O.L. have done good after eight years of no album, but its nothing you probably haven’t heard before.