Truck Violence Plumb the Loudness of the Outskirts on 'Violence'

BY Amber RansonPublished Jul 3, 2024


There's something fascinating about Canada's prairie towns. The ghostly howl of the wind, the whispering of the grass, mist gathering around the feet of the small hills. Yet somehow, even in absence of the bustling city, the silence feels ever so loud. Truck Violence's debut album, Violence, is described as an ode to these small town roots — by alternating between traditional Canadian folk and pulverizing breakdowns, they combine both the silence and loudness of country life.

Hardcore has had no problem sinking its thorns into the image of small towns.  If anything, hardcore is often born out of these situations: think Chat Pile's God's Country and how it conjures up images of barren land, oil rigs and crooked telephone poles. However, there's something unique about the way that Truck Violence blends its Western Canadian influences with hardcore. On Violence, scotch flannels, trapper hats and rubber boots meet twangy banjo licks, thrashing guitars and a wobbling voice that echoes into nothingness – starkly bouncing off hardened stone walls and flowing through cold, rushing rivers.

Truck Violence was formed by Albertans Paul Lecours and Karsyn Henderson. After moving to Montreal, the duo initially performed under the name No Cru5t, later Truck, and then finally Truck Violence (with the addition of Chris Clegg on bass and Ryley Hlima on percussion). Pulling sounds from each of their manifestations, their sound has evolved throughout their musical endeavors. Violence explores hardcore punk, folk and occasionally touches on experimental hip hop. Some of these genres take up entire tracks — the folk-backed "I bore you now bear for me," is entirely acoustic banjo and guitar; "Drunk to death" is a clobbering wall of guitars. For much of the album however, Truck Violence find themselves weaving in and out of multiple genres within individual tracks, creating a diverse yet simultaneously cohesive sound.

During its calmest moments, Violence is an eerie hymn into the woods — a ghostly presence. There's a certain feeling of emptiness, crippling solitude. Contemplative prose shudders into the bitter, cold air, with the banjo so stiff and ripped of its resonance. It's chilling, jarring and utterly fantastic.

Following these calm moments are industrial breakdowns with spastic drums and crushing guitars. Completing the chaos is Henderson, as he rotates through a lyrical wheel of anger, defeat and contentedness. As he navigates the biting realities of addiction and dissatisfaction, his lyrics are relatively abstract, though he makes the meanings much more explicit as he alternates between wails, curdling screams and sludgy growls.

During "Undressed you layn't before," Henderson mumbles: "…I can't help but feel inadequate, like, I'll never be interesting enough to have a collection of prose written about me. Ultimately that's my goal: to be written about." And while Truck Violence seem to be content with this verdict, if they keep this up they might just be written about more than they'd expect.


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