by Evan Welsh (@evanswelsh15)
With every release, British trio Trash Kit seems to expand upon their jumpy, post-punk sound and grow tighter as songwriters and performers. Over the African-influenced rhythms and bright-guitars that have been with the group since their inception, Horizon gives larger roles to the horns, welcomes keys, and boasts the groups longest, most complete songs in their entire discography.
The album opens with the laid-back “Coasting”—with strings that are interspersed throughout, and given center stage in the song's outro, Trash Kit quickly inform listeners that their musical identity has evolved from their previous albums. The band continues to showcase this growth with more additional instrumentation like the harp, which shows up on “Bed,” and the aforementioned keys, which appear in a beautiful, playful tone on tracks like “Dislocate” and more inquisitively on the closer, “Window.”
“Every Second” is the album’s first dive into the incredibly energetic, as the track spins and whirls with crisp guitar riffs, irresistible drum beats, and exuberant saxophones. On the title track, Trash Kit masterfully and naturally builds excitement and tension, knowing exactly where to let the instrumentation and intensity rise and fall so that when the climax comes, it feels both earned and satisfying. Neither “Sunset” or “Bed” have the same dynamic variability as “Horizon” or the wonderfully bouncy “Traffic Lights,” but the manner in which Trash Kit locks onto, and ruminates on the circling chorus vocals and harp and guitar parts in each of the tracks respectively makes them both enveloping in their own way.
“Disco” the bubbling, euphoric seven-minute centerpiece of Horizon is the only track on the album sans-vocals, allowing for a jazzy dance break in an album that is already stuffed with undeniably danceable tracks. The expansiveness of the track appears to show Trash Kit at their full musical potential and, actually, leads to a small feeling of longing for some extra minutes to be added to every other song on the album.
The technical prowess of Trash Kit, displayed in their ability to remain tight and clean throughout their most chaotic compositions, is enough to make Horizon an album worth praising. But Horizon accomplishes the difficult task of being an album that is immediately accessible, requiring no intense mental focus to appreciate and enjoy the experience, and also sophisticated and interesting enough to hold up under closer, more critical listening.
Horizon is unequivocally one of the most fun albums of the year, and one that seems inextricably linked with the warm, happy months of Summer. Trash Kit has made a record that feels like a musical celebration, a jubilant gathering that an entire village attended and participated in, accompanied by an eye-widening display of fireworks.