Arts & Entertainment

Staff Pick

Best Local Album 

Trauma Harness, Tried My Hardest

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On Tried My Hardest, the members of Trauma Harness push their trademark post-punk gloom to new heights. Each of the twelve tracks that make up the LP shoots into radically different tonal landscapes. While the album's opener, "Flag Smasher," overflows with booming, in-your-face guitar madness and manic vocals, tracks such as "Hawk Ledge / Carbonless" are filled with simple new-wave-style synth lines and clean, processed melodies. The record circles around themes of destruction and decay, but rather than mourning what has been lost, Josh Jenkins seems to be celebrating our collective demise. On "Spear Hell" he repeatedly sings, "The skies rain spears and arrows" over uplifting, anthemic guitar riffs. Perhaps the best summary of the record's themes are in the spoken intro that kicks off the seventh track, "Accounting." "You know, living a long life is a mixed blessing," it goes. "You spend your youth trying to build something for yourself and your family and your community, to watch it all taken away from you at your old age. Still, I'm not ready to die just yet." If we're all going to die, we may as well go out screaming.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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