MFL#3: Traits – ‘Illuminate’ EP.

Traits – Leeds, England, United Kingdom.

Traits Illuminate

Welcome back to another edition of Musically Fresh Legacy, where choice cuts from EN’s parent site are revitalised and republished on Ear Nutrition to pay homage our roots and the music that was featured.


Musically Fresh Legacy #3 – Originally Published on Musically Fresh: 13/04/18.

Traits, a band from Leeds with notable UK lineage (Random Hand, The Human Project). A band with the riffs of Pulley, Implants and the legacy of 90’s Skate Punk. A band with harmonics that easily rival the best of Bad Religion and NOFX alongside northern-English accents and an ethos effectively epitomising contemporary UK Punk-Rock.

The band’s first EP, Limits (2017), was not only fresh as dawn in regard how it sounded and its production but in the way boasted classic Pop-Punk influenced relatable Punk-Rock with soaring melodies and straight-to-point lyrical content directly matching and decipherable from the song titles. The five-track EP was a cathartic release of everyday thoughts and issues with the only negative remark/question on the whole thing being how would they indeed trump such a release. And no, I don’t mean build a wall and generally being (overtly more than) a little silly (to say the least). 

Illuminate is that second release and it shines. Traits aren’t “save-the-world” Punks, some of us are, some of us know people thus and many of us champion them and in no way am I disrespecting such humans as they fight the good-fight but with Traits and the message of ‘Less Fortunate’, just do what you can. Find it in our massive Skate Punk playlist – Here.

After the low-ridden crunching Skate Punk of ‘Less Fortunate’ classic Punk riffs ride upbeat tones forward in ‘The Good, The Bad & The Down Right Ugly’. I can’t stress enough the band’s stripped back musical efficiency but one of biggest appeals about Traits are the words they sing and so fervently believe.

‘Paradigm’ is the feel-good community track with the serious message. If we can change the typical thought and general consensus in the realisation that superiority should be dispensed with the world would run a lot more smoothly and in the terms of the layman Traits are doing their bit.

‘Drop The Status Quo’ sees the band have some fun with a faster tempo and harmonics lent from NOFX alongside a classic break-down testament to the harder-end of the band’s roots. Which is precisely where we are left.

‘I’ve Made My Bed’ again rumbles along ridden-low on crunching riffs reminiscent of Pulley, Ten Foot Pole and all their ilk before the band’s knack for a soaring chorus to contrast their axe-work takes charge in this crowd pleaser.

I am a firm believer that the word “melodic” in the context of Punk-Rock and Hardcore really should not be as dirty a word as it is. Traits, with their constant contrast between short, fast & loud gritty riffs and their really-can’t-help-themselves soaring melodies are living proof of such.

Founder of Ear Nutrition, Matt is sadly over 30 and first cut his words writing for the now defunct site, Musically Fresh. He enjoys a variety of guitar-driven music but can usually be found navigating a web of Skate Punk, Hardcore and everything in between.