With their previous release, Chemical Miracle, Trophy Eyes had paved their way in the pop punk scene; thus, when there was talk of a new album, the world went crazy. Spoiler alert: this album is absolutely groundbreaking, and the band didn’t disappoint; however, this album isn’t what a fan of the band would expect, so buckle up, and let’s get to it. The album is packed full of catchy instrumental and vocal licks that would capture the audience’s grasp quickly. From this, the band is able to bend and twist the surrounding makings to make an album that holds true to the Trophy Eyes aesthetic while also stretching their boundaries from all sides. One of the first things that will stand out from this release is the utilization of a new vocal timbre. In this album, the lead singer primarily sings in his lower vocal ranger compared to his more strained vocal style that was the norm from their previous releases. This new vocal sound is mesmerizing, which will only enforce the listeners to keep on listening because of how unique it is. However, do not be alarmed, the band still includes dashes of the old style to add emphasis and pop some flavor to tracks here and there. Focusing on the instrumental aspect of the album, the band often toys with minimal instrumentation to allow the vocals to shine. On the other hand, the band does give a heavy dosage of traditional, heavy instrumentals to give the record a nice balance when listening to it in its entirety. Through this, the band also took the audience through several musical genres; meaning, the band kind of danced around the pop punk genre with dashes of alternative and pop musical influences. This approach has been done by many artists before; however, the way that Trophy Eyes manipulates each genre makes for an innovative approach to pop punk music, which will help this album stick out among the pack. Another main aspect of this record to point out is how deep their lyrical content is. It is no surprise that Trophy Eyes put out an album that hits home through each track, lyrically speaking, but the band talks of serious situations and instances throughout the album that may be risky to some. This works for them because they approach each in the correct demeanor for each emotion that is being vocalized, which is truthfully hard to pull off. Overall, I am giving this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars because each song has its own unique sound that creates this conceptual movement, which takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster; also, the record just sounds super interesting.
“I Can Feel It Calling”, “More Like You”, and “You Can Count On Me”
These tracks stand out among the rest because they drive home the new sound that Trophy Eyes is riding throughout this release. However, these songs challenge the audience in several ways: mentally, musically, and in some cases, socially. When listening to these specific tracks, one is only getting part of the picture, that’s a given, but these tracks put the audience in the mindset that the overall album is trying to achieve, which is significant since this album spans across a huge emotional spectrum.
When first looking at the album artwork, it is striking to the audience member, for it is very aesthetically appealing, which would cause them to want to listen. This is strong for the band before even diving into the music because based off their cover alone, people are already gravitated towards it. When facing the music with the cover of the record, it can be simply put that the album artwork is perfection. To further, as mentioned in the general review, Trophy Eyes talks about taboo subjects that may be risky to some artists, especially when thinking about how they named their album “The American Dream”, which basically pigeon holes America to be the driven influence of these events and emotions. Thus, when peering at the album one sees a bird formed out of money, flying, but it is also being burnt by a simple flame. This imagery is completely fantastic, for the world, but especially the United States, survives because of money. Therefore, the band is showing that the bird, who is flying and made of money is entirely symbolic of the American dream because coming to the land of America, one of your main focuses will be put on monetary value. Now, let’s talk about the flame. The symbol of fire could mean a number of things, so it’s best to look at it from the most generic way possible. Even if one does make to America to pursue the American dream, and they obtain some financial stability, that doesn’t mean everything else that one deals with mentally, emotionally, physically, or even socially goes away. Furthermore, the flame simply could represent the hardships that remains no matter what. This artwork is phenomenal to pair with the musical content of the album, for the band takes the listeners on that same journey, mentally, which may not completely resonate until they visually see an equal representation of their ideology behind the album. Making this album cover all the better for the band’s release as a whole.
*”The American Dream” was released on August 3, 2018 through Hopeless Records.