Newcastle natives Trophy Eyes have come a long way since forming 5 years ago. After constant cycles of touring both here, in the States and Europe, the band are now complete with a new drummer and a potential watershed moment with their third album The American Dream. They have the world to play for and if they play the right hand, the American dream is theirs.
Many bands when they start, have two albums worth of ideas, which can be honed and crafted during the constant monotony of touring; however the third album is usually a crossroads. It can lift a band to greatness, it can also stall a bands career. So what does the new Trophy Eyes album have lined up?
Opening number Autumn is upbeat pop punk, not too far from their earlier work however the noticeable difference is the extra layers of sound. Is that an orchestra playing? This new expansive sound continues onto Something Bigger Than This, which if it was a colour or taste would be cherry sweet it’s that good. Featuring a chorus lyric of ‘It doesn’t make much sense right now but it’ll all come together when the lights go out’, I’ve found myself humming this for days. It’s light, it’s heavy, it’s soft, it has Triple JJJ Top 100 written all over it come next Australia Day.
Trophy Eyes write great pop songs but with a cocky rock music attitude. Friday Forever has a beautifully crafted chorus, while opening single You Can Count On Me has an crowd pleasing chorus while also showcasing the bands cheeky humour.
More Like You, the second song dropped, shows the band music maturing within the pop punk world. Vocalist John Floreani recently mentioning that the band wants to break down the genre model, that they want to write great music and the rest of the album shows a band going there with Broken having a huge sound, backed by the more prominent orchestra.
The acoustic ballad Tip Toe shows John’s growing vocal capability. This track being the stand out song on an already impressive album. The string section sounds gently accentuate John’s emotionally beautiful vocals before John cries out ‘you used to say I love you, when you said goodbye’. Real lump in the throat stuff.
Lavender Bay is a suburb in Australia’s most populous city Sydney and the track of the same name is a straight out party rock tune with a delicious tasty chorus line of ‘I wont sleep until Sydney knows my name’. In fact Trophy Eyes just can’t stop writing winning catchy choruses as Miming In The Choir delivers with the lyrics ‘can’t sleep can’t dream’ leaving you of visions of how good these songs are going to sound in concert to a packed house.
The final piece in the jigsaw is I Can Feel It Calling. A rarity in that it’s 6 mins in length, the song builds up before guitars and drums kick in at a ferocious pace. It’s a song that has everything, a building story line, pianos, acoustic guitars, the emotional vocals, melodies, you name it. Yes, yes, it also has an amazing memorable lyric.
The beauty of this album is that the songs are so well crafted, they could easily translate to acoustic songs. It’s undeniably the bands best work, their masterpiece. They have pushed themselves into an area that transcends pop punk, they are truly a great musical band, ready to stand side by side with our other Australian exports.
The amazing lyric in I Can Feel It Calling goes “Think of me when you’re alone and cannot sleep, I’m on the other side of the world and doing the same thing”. Lads, on the basis of this album, you better get used to that feeling, cause you’re going to be spending a lot more time stateside living The American Dream after this is released.
Album Review by Iain McCallum