Synthetic Elements – Trashed Out Elements

  • Bobby Gorman posted
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Synthetic Elements

Trashed Out Paradise - Filthy Beast Records

It’s been quite a while since I’ve heard a CD like Synthetic Elements‘ Trashed Out Paradise. Over the past week, Trashed Out Paradise has become a somewhat of an oddity for me because with each passing song that comes by I pick out another interesting influence or similarity. They seem to be pulling in from all corners of the punk rock scene combining all the elements together to create a cohesive, unique and captivating sound with songs that I won’t soon forget.

The main influence I initially spotted was a slight Fat Wreck sound. There are times (particularly in the opening track How Far) that there are inklings of NOFX in there but generally, they seem to be going for a much deeper and older Fat sound because Trashed Out Paradise soon starts showing signs of Swingin’ Utters and Snuff. The songs are fast, quick, snotty and tinged with elements of ska, sometimes through only a beat and upstroke but other times they pull out a full blown horn section (see Dancin’ Time) where they sound more like a gruffer Mad Caddies than anything else.

Their sound is one that is both energizing and highly entertaining and with a constant revolution of styles and sounds to keep it interesting and save it from becoming repetitive.Evelene is a a pirate sea-shanty song with distorted guitars, occasional trumpet and a gruff, sing-along chorus packed with “yo-oh!”s. Synthetic Elements are able to go from that to an acoustic anthem, Falling Away, that sounds a bit like Less Than Jake‘s cover of Cheap Trick‘s Surrender.

They’ll Never Understand is most definitely the highlight of the album. It’s a more straight forward pop-punk tune, without any of the ska elements, but one that combines perfect production and engineering values (creating the fullest sound of the album) with an anthemic edge of rebellion and angst. It’s passionate, fist-pumping and just thoroughly complete from start to finish making it one of the best songs of 2009 thus far. Unfortunately, Synthetic Elements somehow destroy that momentum as they suddenly throw in random song snippets and sounds of changing radio stations. This thirty second sound clip complete annihilates the flow of the record and puts you off guard. Right away, it knocks the record down a notch. They then follow it up with Wooly Bully, a Jamaican infused reggae tune that sounds so immensely out of place and features the worst lyrics on the album.

Both of those two things combine for a painfull three minutes that can’t end fast enough. Once they do end, Synthetic Elements pick up the pace with The Fire, a drinking song that has elements of The Briggshidden within its thunderous drum beats, and the record is back on track.

A roller coaster of a ride that takes you through from Snuff to Less Than Jake to The Briggs with some Fat Wreck sounds in there too, Trashed Out Paradise is a record that should surely receive some interest from many punk fans. You just have to ignore track eight.