Album Review: Trapped Under Ice – Heatwave
Trapped Under Ice emerged from the Baltimore hardcore scene of the late 2000s and quickly became one of the most notorious bands in the genre. The band’s 2008 EP, “Stay Cold,” set a precedent for where the heavy hardcore of the American Northeast was heading and people took notice nationally and globally. Countless tours zig-zagged across America, through Europe, and beyond, taking hardcore to places it rarely traveled.
Shortly after cementing its spot among the giants of modern hardcore, however, the band pressed pause and announced a hiatus that began in 2013 and ended in 2015. Even though fans knew ahead of time when TUI would return, the reunion set and subsequent shows were still massive events. In part, this was because the crew stayed busy during that break. Its members spent time with their other bands like Turnstile and Angel Du$t, further spreading the TUI gospel and reeling in first time fans.
Now, almost two years after the reunion and six years after the last record, comes “Heatwave.” It’s the first album the band has released on its newly minted label Pop Wig, which also houses releases from the aforementioned Turnstile and Angel Du$t, as well as a crop of other exciting new bands from around the country.
To the dismay of some TUI hardliners, “Heatwave” is different from previous efforts. To those with open minds, it only makes sense. This group of musicians may have pressed pause on the band, but continued growing and evolving over the last six years. The ferocity of their New York hardcore influences, their ignorant breakdowns, and the kinetic energy of their own Baltimore bounce are still present. The only difference is what has been added.
A tambourine pops up in the final moments of “Throw It Away.” A strange crunching noise acts as a piece of percussion on a small handful of other songs. Above all, the biggest addition is that of sheer, breakneck speed. This cuts the total runtime down to only 14 minutes and eludes the the bulkiness factor that keeps many a hardcore LP from achieving any replay value. “Heatwave” is a record that begs to played and flipped and played again. Whether you like it or not, Trapped Under Ice is back on top, although they never really left.