The title of Trash Boat‘s debut album is something that frames the record spectacularly. It’s heartfelt, personal, and slightly regretful; and it also demonstrates their unique lyricism.
Opening with the well paced Strangers, it’s an excellent introduction to the album, and likely familiar ground as it was the first single for the record. Featuring some incredible vocals from The Wonder Years frontman Dan Campbell (who also produced the album), it’s an impressive start. The only jarring point here is Campbell repeating “I know it’s desperate but” twice within three lines, which is hard to ignore having heard it once.
Second single How Selfish I Seem follows, and it’s an angst-ridden pleasure, blasting through some surprisingly self-deprecating lyrics. It hits hard. The theme of development and growth which has always been present in Trash Boat‘s music is still strong, progressing especially through Tring Quarry and Brave Face. Each song on this album has it’s memorable aspects, proving some stellar song writing, such as the repeated chorus line “Stuck with the feeling that life only plays its significant songs when I’m feeling grey.”
Brave Face is a highlight of the album, opening similarly to Strangers with a slower intro working through some reminiscent lyrics, including the album title. It is one of the most intimate songs the album has to offer, a painfully transparent window into the life of Trash Boat vocalist Tobi Duncan. Eleven was first seen on the band’s last EP Brainwork, but on Nothing I Write You […] it comes into it’s own. It was enjoyable but slightly different to the other Brainwork songs, but it fits seamlessly into this album. It hasn’t been altered too significantly either, so it’s a familiar point.
The second half of the album passes through in a coursing river of energetic emotion, though not without some more magnificent moments such as the surprisingly prolific riff-section in Pangaea. Coming back to Trash Boat‘s interesting lyricism, the development in line “If it’s all downhill from here […]” lends a progressive nature to Second Wind, showing great care in the writing. Catharsis is another point of highly-strung tension playing similarly to How Selfish I Seem.
You Know, You Know, You Know is a thoughtful close to the album. Introspective, the song discusses the process of writing songs as a method of growth and development. Perhaps more than any other song on the album, this one highlights that Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through is a big deal for Trash Boat.
Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through is one of the strongest debut albums to come out of the UK pop punk scene in recent years, and surely points towards a great career for Trash Boat. The band are embarking on a UK tour to play their new songs next week with WSTR and Weatherstate, so don’t miss out on your local show. For now though, get familiar with Nothing I Write You […], because it is prolific.