Table Scraps – Autonomy

A rising name who have already had quite the musical journey, Table Scraps are one Birmingham trio who have found themselves in the very midst of rock’n’roll. Having turned down label requests and continuously facing the struggles of being an upcoming name in the music industry, this band are certainly generating a buzz around themselves like few others and have now returned with their second, aptly named record, Autonomy.

A sharp raspiness and nostalgic call back to old school psychedelic production crossed with the raw intensity of punk-rock is the backbone of Table Scraps’ sound and something this album continuously pushes throughout. ‘Always Right’ holds such a high level of muddy bass work and fuzzy guitar, it feels like stepping inside a live wire and taking a thousand volts directly to the face, whilst ‘I’m A Failure’ holds so much vocal reverb, the jarring buzz becomes oddly endearing. The vibe is perfectly suited for anyone looking for a call back a classic early wave rock, at times distantly resembling the sounds of The Clash.

Table Scraps’ sound is certainly not something you come across too often, however, at times, the record does feel like a bit of a missed opportunity. The simplistic structures throughout and general lower end production definitely shows and leaves the album feeling hollow in parts. However, for a band who stress nothing but punk vibes and rock’n’roll attitudes, this was almost certainly a conscious decision and, if anything, instead just emphasises the record’s character that little bit further.

Likewise, the actual music behind the record is equally admirable and stress it’s DIY music down to its very core, the instrumentals behind tracks such as ‘Takin’ Out The Trash’ are sublime, baring a bizarre resemblance to Muse’s ‘Uprising’, but with a far more electrifying feel. The riff hits hard and plays its part well in driving the track along nicely, with the rough edges adding additional senses of intrinsic charm and charisma. The only critique does come in the form of the vocals. Whilst stressing some solid anarchical messages, the lyricism holds next to no subtlety and follows the instrumental pattern almost in complete unison, leaving the track feeling a little on the flat side, when realising what it could have been with a little more vocal flare.

The track which leaves the largest mark is ‘Treat Me Like Shit’. Utilising superior instrumentals to actually drown out the vocals in a three minute track of chaotic noise, the addition of theremin sounds and Twilight Zone sound bites really added the little bit of variance which this record needed whilst still playing true to Table Scraps’ tone and showing real signs of personality behind the music. The shorter duration of almost every track on this record does make the album feel on the short side, but this plays in the group’s favour as whilst listening to single tracks from Autonomy can add a great deal of punky energetics to your day, this record is not one which was made to sit down and listen cover to cover.

There is a definite buzz surrounding Table Scraps. Whilst compared to the countless other upcoming bands, their sound falls relatively into the mundane and the vocals are just that touch too robotic to stay interesting. Their material is still derived from a place which many will heavily relate and engage with once given the chance. The callback to a more classical era of punk is refreshing to say the least and means the band still have a lot of further leeway for experimentation and sound development to really make it their own. I’d be intrigued to see what direction Table Scraps continue to pursue and I can only imagine that, especially in a live environment, their material would be truly something incredible to see.

Ben Walker