The other day, I was thinking about how a lot of albums this year have been lacking staying power for me. Good on the first few listens, but after a while, it becomes a total forgettable album. And then I received a small package from The Death Scene. This package contained a band’s new album that would reenergize 2006. That band is Trophy Scars and their album is Alphabet. Alphabets. Not only does Alphabet. Alphabets. revive a dying hardcore scene, but it also teaches it a few tricks. Combining all sorts of different genres (hardcore, hip-hop, folk, classic rock) with amazing musicianship to create an album that’ll beat your face in time and time again, Trophy Scars have released an album that is sure to land on many people’s Top 5 at the end of the year.
The album begins with “An Introduction. All Introductions.,” which begins with a gentle guitar strum and a steady drum beat that leads into a menacing guitar riff and Jerry Jones’ calm voice over the sound. This is not an indication of what is to come though, as the next track, “Artist. Artists.,” punches you in the gut. Jones’s voice is gruff over guitars that drive and Brian Ferrara’s double bass drumbeat keeps the pace up along with bassist Andy Farrell. This song combines aggressiveness and melody into a stunning track. “Assistant. Assistants.” is an anthem about remembering your youth and how it has changed since then. This song features one of the best sing-along hooks you’ll hear all year. “Assassin. Assassins.” starts slowly with Jones’ voice taking control. 45 seconds in and then sporadic screaming enters the scene, taking this song on a roller coaster ride between peace and destruction. Just to switch things up, hip-hop closes out the song and continues on into the next track, “Accent. Accents.” It takes you by surprise at first, but right away you can tell this was done very well and adds a whole new element to this album. “Absolute. Absolutes.” begins with a very atmospheric sound that begins to rise when Jones’ enters in around the 2 minute mark. This dramatic song changes up the pace of this album nicely and closes out softly with a piano tune. This leads into “Alchemist. Alchemist.” a mid paced song that showcases the fine guitar talent of John Ferrara and A.J. Hanson, as the song shows shades of post-hardcore. “Addict. Addicts.” feature Ferrara and Hanson playing riffs that appear sporadically in the song along with Jones’ maniacal screams, which reminds me a lot of the Blood Brothers. “Alligator. Alligators.” is a 7 and a half minute tune that sounds like a demented Ferris wheel ride, as Jones’ voice calmly flows from line to line throughout the song. This is my favorite track on the album, as it takes the album on another twist and really showcases the excellent songwriting of this band. “Apple. Apples.” is a fast track that needles into your head and combines elements heard from both Thursday and the aforementioned Blood Brothers. The final song of the album is “Anxiety. Anxieties.” a slow song that has a title that can sum up the overall theme from the album, as lyrically, it is about fighting off your demons, your bad luck, your past, and all the anxieties you have in your daily tasks and relationships in life. Jones’ wears his heart on his sleeve throughout the album and it shows lyrically and vocally, as the passion and pain are evident in every word he speaks.
To be honest, this album came right out of leftfield to me. I didn’t know what to expect, just figuring I would get a good hardcore album and that’s it, but instead I was pleasantly surprised by all the different angles this album takes. Trophy Scars has released one of the most unique and creative albums of 2006, as well as the best lyrics I’ve heard so far this year. Alphabet. Alphabets. is very ambitious, and Trophy Scars nailed it, unlike some bands that are too ambitious for their own good. Please, do yourself a favor and check out this album. It may be hard to find in stores, but you must do your damnedest to get a hold of this. Trophy Scars has offered us an album unlike any other this year, one that sparks new ideas in a stale genre and enthralls the listener into a distinctive listening experience. Brutal, beautiful, and everything in between, please learn your Alphabets and get this album today.
this album is my lifeblood right now. so good
in my own little review i used the adjectives ethereal, hard, delicate, soaring, hateful, desperate, & breathless for it.
i'd rec one song but they all kill me, so just listen to the album.
i agree with "check out the EPs," there's this song Designed Like Dice Crickets in Tune that is fairly amazing.
I was just at Tower and they had a bunch of them, but the little scanner thingie didn't have any tracks to preview, so I didn't get it. Now it seems as though I may have to reconsider next time I'm out that direction. Great review!