New wave rock’n’rollers Say Yes‘s debut LP, “Real Life Trash Mag”, is indicative of the emerging Canadian post-post-hardcore scene. With members of your favourite angst-driven bands (Alexisonfire, Saint Alvia) and Eric Ratz tag-teaming production with Billy Talent’s Ian D’Sa, the sound is an eclectic mix of high voltage riffs and early ’00s aggressive sounds. While the album as a whole hits hard, the vocals lack edge throughout, making them seem forgettable. Songs “Dying To Make You Blind” and “Remorse is in the Flames” flaunt the band’s explosive riffing style, evened out by “West Memphis” and “Too Much Not Enough,” which showcase varied styles of their sound — one’s a veritable rollercoaster of speed and sound, the other pumped with pop. Saving the best for last however, concluding track “Sea of Trees” is the real pièce de résistance, a five-and-a-half-minute soundscape that completely flips everything you’ve just come to understand about the record, changes dynamics drastically between atmospheric and frenetic.
With audible musical influences from across the genre spectrum (hardcore, blues and a grab bag of rock tones) and an interesting thematic/songwriting concept that follows unfortunate characters plagued by addiction and conflict, Hastings, Zane and Michael remind listeners that they are still kicking with the hard-hitting Real Life Trash Mag.