Well this is a surprise, isn’t it? The release of Nation might have seen TRC within reaching distance of being among UK hardcore’s hottest properties, but that was something that ultimately fell through. That level of momentum was something that couldn’t just be regained in an instant, and as well as being lapped being fellow purveyors of grime-infused rapcore Hacktivist, TRC found themselves subjected to five years in the wilderness.
But with Lifestyle, it’s made abundantly clear that this is a band returning on vicious form. There are no corners cut or half-measures here, and even for an EP, this is perhaps as fully-formed as TRC have ever been, slightly elevated by the increased presence of grime in the mainstream, but with a sound that’s distinctly, unmistakably theirs. And this is a sound that’s aged remarkably well too; the trade-off between Chris Robson’s rapping and Anthony Carroll’s more conventional hardcore delivery is still a little clumsy (as it’s always been), but the cocksure, streetwise swagger of Same. But Better. and the low-slung rage of Moaner and Take It are able to rub shoulders without too much friction.
That lack of ennui stems down into the content as well, and it’s easy to see the effort that’s been made to make Lifestyle as dense but impactful as possible. And on the whole, it does work, extending the average song length to cover as much ground as they can, ranging from biting indictments on those who leech from society to get by (Scrounger), bravado-laced calls-to-arms (Same. But Better.), and even some sentimentality and introspection on clear standout London’s Greatest Love Story (Part II). It’s ambitious for an EP, but it’s never spread too thinly; again, TRC are launching themselves as full speed into this EP, and their efforts pay off handsomely.
Even with some nitpicks here and there, it’s hard to think of how TRC could have made a better return than this; it’s powerful and brief enough to ensure they hit the ground running, but packed with enough diversity and slamming hardcore energy to feel like a real, vital prospect rather than a relic of the early 2010s. Lifestyle genuinely could be the start of a second wind for TRC, and if this is how they mean to go on, this next phase of their career could be something pretty special indeed.
For fans of: Hacktivist, Your Demise, Nasty
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Lifestyle’ by TRC is released on 30th March.