Formed in the earlier part of the 1990s, The Almighty Trigger Happy temporarily broke up in 1999 and in their nine or so years of dishing out song after song full of punk rock richness, they inevitably paved the way for American high school punk such as New Found Glory.
However, Almighty Trigger Happy are born and bred in Toronto, Canada – Canada being a country that is famous for three things:- the TV programme Due South, maple syrup and its ability to produce an unlimited amount of punk rock bands. Sum 41, Tuuli, Three Inches Of Blood and Billy Talent are just a few of Canada’s finest and for over a decade, The Almighty Trigger Happy have been conjoined to the list as well.
The first album from the fivesome after their revival is aptly titled I Hate Us Even More and the CD itself bares a picture of two middle fingers in the usual f-you manner. Their bluntness reinforces their claim that they don’t really care, whether it be about the media, overly demanding fans or life in general.
Upon listening to the album, the music takes second place to, in my opinion, the most frank and album/band defining introduction to ever exist: “They is them, a generalisation of everyone who isn’t us… They are them, we are us so f*** them and don’t f*** with us.”
This leads to opener They Is Them/Dirty Rotten, an upbeat, in your face, drag you backwards through a bush screaming, punk delivery whereby Al Nolan’s vocals charge their way through the stereo. By Individual, Nolan’s punk screams become howls that are backed by fast-paced guitars.
Openers are important in creating an essential album but maintaining the same momentum throughout is something that separates an Idlewild album from a lostprophets one – indeed with an album that drifts off halfway, it’s hard not to throw the album on the floor next to the lostprophets CD.
Having said that, it’s hard not to feel sorry for The Almighty Trigger Happy, a band who probably spent a good part of their life striving to be somewhere near the legendary Sex Pistols but instead get compared to newbies like The Starting Line.
Burnt Coffee Blues, however, expresses an interest to move away from punk when an ’80s Metallica-type riff sets in and on Lever, a melodic, rock ballad approaches the surface. Both are soon squashed, however, when the band return to their punk roots in the following songs.
Obviously, The Almighty Trigger Happy mean business; you either love them or you hate them. It’s just a shame that such courageous and out-there attitudes aren’t incorporated into their music and by the end of the albu, what were discreet similarities with bands such as Goldfinger, NOFX and Pennywise have turned into full-blown comparisons.
For a die-hard American influenced punk fan, this album would add to the collection of similar sounding bands. For anyone else, the sound’s been tested, heard and overused time and time again and to those who’ve had enough, the CD makes a nice coaster.