Trigger Effect prevails over thieves and baggage handlers
by Chris Morin
For 10 years, Montreal’s Trigger Effect has released record after record of hard-edged punk rock while touring Canada and the rest of the world several times over, racking up over 600 shows. The five-piece has built up an enviable cult following and a reputation for wildly energetic live performances. But it hasn’t always been a rosy ride.
Over the course of their existence, the band has had over $2000 worth of merch stolen, along with a guitar, a set of cymbals and a van, which was nabbed outside their jam space. And then came their latest misadventure, which nearly sank their recent European tour, says bassist Sergio Da Silva.
“In Belgium we got off the plane and they told us that the baggage handlers were on strike, and that we weren’t getting any of our shit for at least four days,” says Da Silva. “And we had a show that night. And then the pilot went onto the tarmac to see if he could find out anything. And basically, they told us to go away.
“I thought we were never going to see our stuff again and when we finally did go pick up our gear, they had left our guitars in a pile next to these baby carriages,” he continues. “It was really, really stressful.
“Otherwise for the most part the tour has been going off without a hitch. We have a driver, so we can show up drunk and play.”
Just like their previous 10” EP, their third full-length album, What’s Left to Eliminate?, sees Trigger Effect scream, blast and scrape through 25 minutes of blistering hardcore riffs and pounding drums.
Lyrically, it’s a concept record about a character who’s so self-destructive that it “builds and builds to the point where he kills himself,” according to Da Silva. Even so, it’s one of the group’s most palatable efforts to date, with vocalist Nick Babeu often trading in unrelenting screaming for a raspier, almost melodic growl.
Midway through the album, the band slows down their attack with an interlude featuring piano and violin — a decidedly different sound than they’ve ever attempted before, says Da Silva.
“[Guitarist] Pat [Bennett] started to play all these different instruments and it really helped set the moods of the songs. Especially on ‘VII’, where we have a fairly dramatic introduction to that song. And the instrumentation is a change in that it’s not just getting punched in the face over and over for 20 minutes — you get to listen to some piano for a bit before getting back into it.”
But with the average song clocking in at around a minute and a half, don’t expect anything less than a no-frills punk rager, even for something that’s self-described as a concept record.
“When we were writing the album, every time someone brought a riff we would always find ourselves asking questions like, ‘How can we make it shorter?,’ and ‘Is there any way we can make it faster?,’” laughs Da Silva. “Because we always try and play as fast as we fucking can.”