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Marianas Trench - Masterpiece Theatre Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 8
Production 9
Creativity 9.25
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Final Verdict: 90%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9.25
Lyrics 8.94
Production 9.31
Creativity 9.19
Lasting Value 9.5
Reviewer Tilt 9.06
Average: 93%
Inside AP.net

Marianas Trench - Masterpiece Theatre

Reviewed by: cavanaughpark09 (02/16/10)
Marianas Trench Ė Masterpiece Theatre
Record Label: 604 Records
Release Date: February 24, 2009

My introduction to Vancouver's Marianas Trench was essentially several friends telling me that there was band I needed to listen to. One explained to me that Marianas Trench was "essentially the Fall Out Boy of Canada" (in terms of popularity). Another sent me links to the entirety of both of Marianas Trenchís two LPs. If Marianas Trench were that good wouldnít I have heard of them? I mean, Canada isnít that far away...

In true fashion to how I stumble on a lot of music one of the songs from this album came on while I was driving to work a few weeks later and by the third chorus I was singing along thinking, "wow, this shit is catchy." I listened to the entire album, and then again and again and again.
My intentions in this review are simple. Iím not particularly familiar with this band, nor am I one of those people who have known about them for years. I think itís safe to say that I might be able to bring a fresh eye to looking at the album. Iím kind of amazed that a review doesnít already exist. I want to throw out there an opinion of someone who has found an album and wants to share it with people.

This album was about two years in the making. This was not, as usual, due to any record label disputes or the release date being continually pushed back, but because the band didnít want to put just any music out there, but because they wanted to make the best album that they could.

Did they achieve that goal? Iím going to give you a resounding hell yes because this is one of the best full albums that I think Iíve heard in years.

The album starts with "Masterpiece Theater I," noting clearly that there are more versions to follow. The song starts with not just lead singer Josh Ramsay, but the entire band harmonizing. With the majority of similar American bands having, at most, a few band members singing backup this almost feels like a throwback to those boy bands of the late Ď90sÖ the ones that are now your guilty pleasures. And yes, they absolutely pull it off. Vocals like that backed with heavy guitars and drums somehow sound even better.

The second track on the record, a quick paced and repetitive "All to Myself," is the song that originally got me to listen to the entire record. Now note that I mean none of these descriptors to be an insult because the song remains one of my favorites on an album full of good songs. Itís catchy, and infectious.

"Cross My Heart" follows with just as much energy and only a change in subject matter, complete with hand-clapping and a bridge that builds and builds to near screaming at the end. Even better, the band also has an acoustic version of this song available which is different but just as good as the rocking album version.

Ramsayís vocals range goes from smooth and earnestly soulful to raspy and at times almost screaming. Iím a fan because they match up with what heís singing so well, but I think that there are definitely people who wonít like it. Honestly, give it a chance because itíll grow on you as you listen to the album.

Marianas Trench also proves that theyíve got the ballad and the slower songs down. "Beside You," "Acadia," and "Masterpiece Theater II" all focus a bit more on the harmonies and the entire bands singing, and really let Ramsay show off his range.

The first time that the band falters is with "Good to You" which features Kate Voegele. Although Voegele is a great artist herself thereís something about the song, Maybe itís the placement, the pace or something else in the song itself, that just doesnít seem to fit with the rest of the album.

The final song on the record, "Masterpiece Theater III" is hands down the track that should get a lot of attention. Mixed with new music the song also features lyrics and music from every song on the album. And no, this is not in the form of a grand remix or radio edit but an amazing song all on its own. It relives every emotion from every song on the record. Like the entire album this song has its ups and downs but overall comes out a strong and solid.

Marianas Trench being described as the Canadian Fall Out Boy doesnít really do them justice. I feel like it does the band a disservice to place them under such a comparison because they make it clear that theyíre not trying to be anyone else. This band, and this album in particular, need to be given their own chance and if youíre going to give the album a listen you should go into it with no preconceived notions.

Every song on this album is strong for one reason or another. Due to that, and maybe the organization of the songs for the most part, Iíve been blown away by this album as a whole. Very few albums in my collection have managed that feat but this is one that I will not stop listening to until this band gives me something new.

As Ramsay continuously questions in "Sing Sing" Marianas Trench seems to be asking with this album, "Do I have your attention?"

The answer is yes, absolutely.


Recommended If You LikeFall Out Boy; Panic at the Disco; pop-punk


http://www.myspace.com/marianastrench
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18
09:57 PM on 03/08/10
#2
Spenny
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Great review. Now I don't have to write one myself.

My last.fm totally gives it away, but these guys are probably my favourite local band. I've been a fan since Fix Me first came out (before the absolute onslaught of fans that Shake Tramp brought along) and this CD showed that they could step up their game and put out an album that both has standout individual tracks and works as a cohesive whole. Top songs for me have to be Masterpiece Theater I (love the Queen influence), Beside You, Perfect and Masterpiece Theater III (phenomenal to see live). Sing Sing and Celebrity Status used to be my tops, but they don't have as much lasting value that the other songs do IMO.

Just out of curiousity, what is your opinion on Fix Me?
10:10 PM on 03/08/10
#3
Spenny
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Also, I don't think they are really comparable to Fall Out Boy. Marianas Trench is a lot more theatrical I find.
12:14 AM on 03/09/10
#4
zubinmoosa
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absolutely fantastic review. This album is a huge step up in both maturity and creativity for MT over Fix Me. I've been following them since before Fix Me was released ('sup Spenny ) and have watched them grow into an extremely successful band. Cannot be more proud of what they achieved
01:17 AM on 03/09/10
#5
S9Dallasoz
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This album is GREAT.
Vastly underrated...at least outside of Canada.

Also, "Good To You" is in no way a misstep, best ballad on the album (if you don't count the Masterpiece Theaters as ballads)

& "Perfect" is my favorite track. One hell of a vocal showcase right there.
09:48 AM on 03/09/10
#6
Spenny
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absolutely fantastic review. This album is a huge step up in both maturity and creativity for MT over Fix Me. I've been following them since before Fix Me was released ('sup Spenny ) and have watched them grow into an extremely successful band. Cannot be more proud of what they achieved
:O

Well... I saw them play my local mall right after Say Anything was released, small crowd and all.

After seeing them play most of Fix Me there, then seeing them after Masterpiece Theatre was released, was so amazing. Went from a mall to selling out a 1,000 capacity venue in two days. Then at the Olympics like 20,000 people turned up to watch them when I went. It's so nice to see their following grow so much in Canada the past few years.
01:11 AM on 03/11/10
#7
Dubui_209
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Although I like Masterpiece Theater, I would have to say Fix Me is better. Low and All To Myself are my favorites.
11:36 PM on 03/13/10
#8
ChrisCTL
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Masterpeice Theatre I sounds like Queen at the beginning ... This album absolutely blew me away when i first heard it. I immediately fell in love with it. Great great album.
11:54 PM on 03/15/10
#9
curator
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what's more amazing is the fact that you think you're listening to the chorus cause it's damn catchy until you realize that it's just the bridge or "pre-chorus" and the real even more catchier chorus is yet to come!!!

I think in some countries it is a crime when the verse, bridge and chorus is so fucking catchy..
10:25 AM on 03/27/10
SingMeInsomnia
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Good band
05:55 PM on 03/31/10
cavanaughpark09
come on sweet catastrophe
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Just out of curiousity, what is your opinion on Fix Me?

On first listen the album didn't impress me as much but the songs have been part of a playlist on my ipod since December. I really have to go back and give it a listen as a whole to give a valid opinion I think. Masterpiece Theater really did just completely blow me away.

As for the Fall Out Boy comparison, I think the one I was given meant that how big FOB is in the US if how big MTrench are in Canada.
06:09 PM on 03/31/10
Spenny
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On first listen the album didn't impress me as much but the songs have been part of a playlist on my ipod since December. I really have to go back and give it a listen as a whole to give a valid opinion I think. Masterpiece Theater really did just completely blow me away.

As for the Fall Out Boy comparison, I think the one I was given meant that how big FOB is in the US if how big MTrench are in Canada.
Far enough, that's actually a pretty good comparison.

Video for Celebrity Status came out today. Gonna go check it out. :P
07:25 PM on 03/31/10
cavanaughpark09
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Far enough, that's actually a pretty good comparison.

Video for Celebrity Status came out today. Gonna go check it out. :P

It won't work on my computer

I'm blaming living in the US. Guess I have to wait for it to be on youtube.
12:14 AM on 04/01/10
Spenny
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It won't work on my computer

I'm blaming living in the US. Guess I have to wait for it to be on youtube.
I'm Canadian and it won't even work for me, so you aren't alone. >_>
04:49 PM on 04/28/10
mattjames1909
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My favorite album of 09, and may become one of my favorite albums of all time.

Though, I can see the similarities between Fall Out Boy, so it's not that far fetched. They do borrow sounds from Queen and Fall Out Boy, but in no way does that bring their music down. Every band has their influences, and every band in some way shows it.

The thing is, Marianas Trench has brought out an album that will have the members of Fall Out Boy wishing they wrote songs as good as what was on Masterpiece Theatre. They brought in the beautiful elements of theater musicals just as good as Queen did in their time.

This album, if given the chance, would be huge in the U.S.A. Maybe it will get a re-release here and see how it does.
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