Trophy Eyes return with another new single, More Like You and with it a statement of intent.
Following the release of You Can Count On Me a few weeks back, Trophy Eyes have propelled their name into the mouths of most fans of the broader alternative scene. Dividing opinions, the band’s new sound has left some excited and others sceptical. Their first album Mend, Move On is a triumph of hardcore music. It is short, blistering and rips your face off. However, 2016’s Chemical Miracle saw the band shift into a new realm, an alternative-pop-rock sphere where they were – yet again – able to triumph. With their newest efforts, the band has moulded their sound to have a fresher feel to it. In my opinion, You Can Count On Me is an exceptional song and has had me singing along to it, in my head, for weeks. I was hoping that their latest effort would remind me once more, that the ‘fans’ of the band complaining about their new sound were more out of touch than ever before. Give it to me.
Immediately, the opening of this track had me excited. Its beginning picks up where You Can Count On Me left off – ear spinningly promising. The drums in the opening give the song a real vibrancy. Coupled with the backing harmonies, the opening is wistful and only built my excitement further. The verse has an exciting pace about it and is accentuated by the very same harmonies we are gifted at the very start of the song. Questionably, the biggest talking point about this track is the chorus. It has an almost tribal feel to it. The instruments strip back, except a passive drum beat, and the vocals take centre stage. John Floreani attempts to croon through the hook of the song while the harmonies dance fruitfully in the background. It is certainly different, interesting, and shows the brave musicianship that the band sport. After the first chorus, we are greeted with a fleeting visit from Floreani’s strained, scream vocals (those he honed on Mend, Move On). This made me reflect. Trophy Eyes have a spine about their music – with their punch and vocals – but, build whatever they choose around it. For me, this is the reason why everyone should be excited about this band.
I read a comment on a YouTube video a few weeks ago which addressed the lesser quality of the band’s latest lyrics. I have been a huge advocate of Floreani’s penmanship for a while and I am going to take this platform to outrightly diminish this claim. Lyrics such as “I never asked to be born in this skin, all draped over me / am I as ugly on the outside as what’s living underneath?” are utterly unique and address the topic of discomfort with the self in a completely individual way. This band do it all. But truthfully, the biggest impediment to this track is the sheer excellence of its predecessor. I think that this song will grow on me, however You Can Count On Me set the bar very high. If one thing is for certain, it is that The American Dream – when released in full – will be an incredible listen. Mark my words – 2018 will be Trophy Eyes’ year.