Trophy Eyes

The American Dream

Written by: PP on 20/12/2018 05:17:38

You thought emo was dead and no further stylistic innovation was possible? Look no further than Australia's Trophy Eyes and their third album "The American Dream", which I'll pigeonhole as symphonic emo for the lack of a better expression. It's a record that combines elements of pop punk, emo, and alternative rock together with symphonic elements in a fashion that you definitely haven't heard before in this genre, at least not as well executed as here.

Imagine every moment where you would normally assume a scream, or at least scratchy vocals of some sort, replaced by choral melodies that wouldn't feel out of place in a church environment, as well as temperate instrumentals that mimic string instruments in places. Screams are also used, by the way, but only in limited fashion, and where they make sense. It's almost like Angels And Airwaves wrote an emo record together with The Hold Steady and Have Mercy, and even then the comparison feels slightly off. And as such, it's also a polarising record considering how far the band has shifted from the melodic hardcore of their debut album, where they sounded more like A Wilhelm Scream and PEARS than like what they sound now. To call it a radical stylistic evolution is an understatement. But for once, the change is for the better and not worse.

Aside from the unique style, there's a great amount to discuss about the album's thematics and it's sublime self-awareness when it comes to writing emo songs. There's a leitmotif of sad songs throughout the record which culminates in the emo sing-along of the year on "You Can Count On Me", the huge choral explosion of "some of my friends sell drugs, but I just sell sad songs, to the ones who feel alone, you can count on me when it all goes wrong." This song, alongside the deeply introspective "More Like You" and the equally melancholic "Autumn", are the kind of tracks that will catapult a band to the forefront of a scene, not just because they are impossibly catchy whilst being simultaneously unique in style, but especially because the lyrical universe is so well developed and connected throughout the record.

Song after song, "The American Dream" features one massively lush soundscape after another, borrowing just enough from pop punk to keep things catchy but injecting tonnes of depth and uplifting symphonies to truly stand out from the crowd. It's a rare gem of a record in a saturated sea of emo releases that are plagued by derivative soundscapes of rehashing the glory days of the mid-2000s. Not so here. "The American Dream" is impressive in just about every angle upon inspection: ridiculously catchy, depth-laden, unique in its soundscape, and impressively long-lasting and rewarding as a listening experience. This is the record that we will look back at as their breakthrough album because these guys will be huge.


Download: You Can Count On Me, Autumn, More Like You, Something Bigger Than This
For the fans of: Have Mercy, Boston Manor, Can't Swim, The Story So Far, The Hold Steady
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.08.2018
Hopeless Records

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