Review: Trauma

Trauma

EP

Bulkhead Records

I am writing this with a heavy heart. I learned this afternoon from friends that Jeff Paul, Trauma’s vocalist, was killed last night in a motorcycle crash in north Portland. In addition to his work in Trauma, Jeff will be remembered by those familiar with the Portland scene as the singer of Final Warning, one of the most awesome bands of the early 1980’s scene in Portland. I only ever met him a couple of times, but he was tight with a number of my friends back there. By all accounts he was a right guy. The world is poorer for his loss.

We reviewed the full Trauma LP here a little while ago. We had actually sort of been dragging our feet about getting a copy, and we’d done so for so long that I actually considered putting up a review of their demo cassette that came out a couple of years ago. It struck me as kind of a goof, especially given the amount hassle that I had to go through to actually find a cassette player on which to listen to it. Now this problem has been resolved by the good people at Bulkhead who have done the world the service of releasing Trauma’s demo (plus one extra song) on a 10 cut 7”. I got this a couple of days ago and it hasn’t left my turntable since. I think that this has actually been remastered, as it sounds a bit clearer than it did on the cassette. In any case, this is ripping, angry thrash as those familiar with the Portland scene have come to expect. Trauma’s stock in trade is straight 80s style hardcore without a hint of metal: short blasts of mid-to-high speed punk with committed political lyrics, played in a style that recalls the heyday of hardcore in the Rose City.

You should go out and get a copy of the 7”, not as a memoriam to Jeff Paul, but because it illustrates the continued vibrancy of the punk scene in Portland and because it is some of the most raging h.c. around. But as you listen to it, remember the massive contribution that Jeff made over his lifetime to the d.i.y. punk scene.

Magadh

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