When genres are amalgamated, if it is a success, it can seem that the new hybrid is a genre in its own right – that there needn’t have ever been the two original styles, as this new sound seems so natural and well conceived. Indeed, this is undoubtedly how sub-genres are formed and grow. While it can scarcely be claimed that Trophy Eyes are pioneering a new genre on sophomore LP ’Chemical Miracle’, as John Floreani’s vocal effortlessly eases between tuneful and the most pure of visceral screams, never has a band’s sound seemed so comfortable.
2014 debut ’Mend, Move On’ was grittier, heavier and packed more of a punch than many of their peers could muster, and two years on they have reached an entirely new level. ’Chlorine’ is a hook-upon-hook, gigantic opener. ’Counting Sheep’ is the group’s best song yet, boasting the kind of chorus that endures for years – not to mention a generous helping of “na-na-na”s.
The dynamic ’Heaven Sent’ recalls ’Déja Entendu’ era Brand New, varying the pace at the perfect moment. ’Chemical’ is a vision of Zack De La Rocha let loose on Pink Floyd’s ’Money’, while ’Breathe You In’’s snaking riff is a subtle compliment to an all-clean delivery by Floreani. The anthemic ’Suicide Pact’ will one day set arenas alight, reprising an effective half-time outro that is notable too on ’Counting Sheep’.
The whole thing is scattered with an intelligent brand of lyricism that ranges from the dryly humorous (“I’m so poetic when I’ve been drinking” – ’Home Is’) to the saddest side of honest (“I got friends who don’t love me like I love them” – ’Daydreamer’), and it just adds a further layer to the tracks, each yielding a fresh find on each listen.
Trophy Eyes, regardless of whether you brand them pop-punk, hardcore or anything in between, here have a record that makes genre redundant. Stunning.
’Chemical Miracle’ by Trophy Eyes is released on October 14th on Hopeless Records.
Words by Peter Stewart (@AtavanHalen_)