Trophy Scars – Bad Luck
Release Date: March 17, 2009
Record Label: None
After going through numerous trying times over the past few years – tour cancellations which lead to massive financial woes to a broken down van – it only makes sense that post-hardcore outfit Trophy Scars would name their third full length album Bad Luck. Yet this quintet didn’t let those tough predicaments get in the way of crafting a fine follow-up to 2006’s stellar Alphabet. Alphabets.. While that album fused many different genres, Bad Luck leans more on the bluesy side, but don’t fret, the band’s brooding and melodic sound remains.
On Bad Luck, vocalist Jerry Jones sounds even more tormented this time around. The mood shifts throughout the ten tracks, from aggression to slow, somber reflection. The opening track, "Bad Dreams" is evidence of this. Paced by piano keys and a delicate drumbeat, Jones is faintly singing until reality sets in. In a flash, Jones is yelling his lungs out. The transition is beautiful and sets the tone for Bad Luck.
“Botanicas” is as upbeat as a Trophy Scars song can be, as jangling guitar riffs and background “whoa-oh’s” set the tone while Jones’ scruffy voice lends narration. “Anna Lucia” is hauntingly beautiful and bitter, while “Toronto” features horns and riffs from John Ferrara and Adam Moutafis needle in and out throughout. The variety in this song makes it a gem.
Tracks like “Nola” shift from calm to chaos constantly, as Jones and company can create madness within tracks with ease. “Years So Much” is a personal favorite, as the composition is ace and Jones really shines. He’s pleading for answers and will continue to scream for them, even if he coughs up blood.
To compare Bad Luck to Alphabet. Alphabets. would be unfair, as they are dramatically different from each other. You can appreciate both albums, as well as their previous work, without having to rank them. Trophy Scars are so eclectic; they never stick with one sound for long. Bad Luck will take a few listens to fully digest, but once it hits, it hits hard. And yes, at times Jones’ vocals can be grating, but his voice is an acquired taste. For the most part, his vocal styling fits the mood of each track. In the end, Bad Luck is another quality release from Trophy Scars, just don’t listen to it underneath any open ladders.
Worst Trophy Scars album ever. I don't know what the hell happened to Jerry's voice, but it sounds terrible. The song compositions are not as complex as the past albums, and the tone isn't dripping with snide sarcasm. Could have easily passed as another band listening to the albums side by side.
I kind of felt that way. this album is serious homework and appreciated so much more when you go more in depth with it. Either a reviewers dream-come-true or nightmare(if you're too busy). So many cool parts. Par review
I really can't stress how much attention this album requires. Trophy Scars are one of those few bands that I will take the time to just lie down, listen and envelope myself in their music. This is a brilliant album that surpassed my expectations and redeemed itself after a disappointing first few listens.
All I can say to any other fans who have been disappointed is to give it 5 or so listens and see if it sways you then.