T.S.O.L.
The Trigger Complex
(Rise Records)

T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty) is a punk rock band formed in 1978 in Long Beach, California. Although most commonly associated with hardcore punk, T.S.O.L.’s music has varied on each release, including such styles as death rock, art punk, horror punk and other varieties of punk music. Now, nearly four decades later, original members Ron Emory, Mike Roche and Jack Grisham have returned with one of their most inspired albums in decades with thirteen tracks of hard-hitting punk rock mixed with some softer and tuneful songs.

“Give Me More” starts off the album with a hard-hitting punk song that grabs you right away. “Strange World,” is a slower and melodic rock tune that will get the kids singing along at the shows, and has beautiful chiming guitar playing. “Satellites” has a thick bass line and just powers over your ears and drags you onto the dance floor with its mix of punk and glam. “Why Can’t We Do It Again” is a poppy and tight rock song that I played a few times because it is just so damn catchy. Released as the album’s first single, “I Wanted To See You” has a similar vibe as the song before it, and I love the ‘80s feel that it has. “Wild Life” keeps that sound going with another track that brings the poppier sound and gives it a little kick with the ripping guitar work. “Going Steady” has that thick bass playing and more terrific guitar work making for a tight rock song with a great melody. “Don’t You Want Me” starts with piano that carries throughout the song giving it a swaying side to side feel that adds great vocals and is another standout on the album. “Bats” is an instrumental song that includes synthesizers and piano, but has a lot of power and majesty to it, giving a great end to an album full of emotion and thrills.

Yes, they started as a punk band, but they never were confined to just playing one style. They did what felt right to them, no matter what the kids thought. They stuck to their ideals and they prove that they know what they are doing. The Trigger Complex is a varied and thrilling album that the band should be proud of and people should dig in and fill up on this full meal deal.

Purchase the album here.

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2 Comments

  1. Daryl king Reply

    Nice write up! I’ve known Jack personally for most of the time that TSOL (with him as their singer and frontman) has existed. You didn’t mention Track#5 “The Right Side”. I think it’s a really catchy tune with lyrics very evocative of what’s going on now socially, politically. And again, just a catchy tune!

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