Sunday, July 24, 2011

Album Review: Trophy Scars - Never Born, Never Dead

Let’s get one thing out of the way—Never Born, Never Dead is expectedly excellent, and overall, an EP that displays how truly fantastic Trophy Scars really is when they are “on.” Their latest follows their last year’s rather phenomenal, Darkness, Oh Hell, a dark, grimy EP that delved into the desperation and ugliness of a man living through the darkest moment of his life. Never Born, Never Dead sort of compliments this, as it feels more hopeful and optimistic. Sure, it delves into the themes of death and relationships, but it comes off as much more beautiful, touching on the brighter aspects of said themes. The lyrical content, however, takes a backseat to the musical content, as Trophy Scars are absolutely at the top of their game, making Never Born, Never Dead one of the strongest releases from the band.

The EP retains all the dirty blues and lounge sounds present on the band’s last few efforts. Because of this, Trophy Scars is one of the most unique post-hardcore bands out there today, with Never Born, Never Dead really affirming that sentiment. What makes the record so wonderful is the band’s utter dedication to a cohesive and engrossing sound. Each track flows together perfectly, meshing both musically and thematically. It’s a dramatic endeavor, feeling wholly creative, with the entire record building towards something and steaming along with purpose.

The band truly is as exceedingly wonderful as always. Bluesy guitars dance with great percussion, and Jerry Jones’ ever divisive vocals. Jones in particular stands out, as you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that sounds even remotely similar. This is where the divide comes in, as many will tell you that his unique approach is a hurdle when first listening to the band. Scratchy, gruff, and menacing, Jones’ vocals match rather perfectly with the darker aspects of the music, as he sounds like a world weary singer in a smoky bar. Varied and always interesting, Jones adds an indelible amount to Never Born, Never Dead.

Never Born, Never dead is simply an excellent piece of music. Sure it may be a little off-putting due to the more experimental nature of the music, but it’s truly unlike anything else out there. More importantly, however, is that Trophy Scars has crafted a ingenious EP that tops just about everything they’ve done in the past. And for a band as ridiculously consistent as Trophy Scars, this says a lot.


1. Ectoplasm
2. Messengers
3. Snake Oil
4. Angels
5. Never Born
6. Never Dead
7. August, 1980

1 comment:

  1. blues rock / psychedelicAugust 9, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    post hardcore? that is, no joke, the laziest title applied to these guys. at this point in their career they have much more in common with the beatles and tom waits than fugazi or quicksand.