It’s fair to say that the emo genre hasn’t always had the best reputation for what kind of music it entails, and has often been a word thrown around the school playground to describe anyone that listened to anything other than what the mainstream had to offer.
However, if any band were going to demonstrate how far the genre has evolved and matured over the years then it’s in the hands of Scottish quartet, Dude Trips.
Following on from the success of their two previous EPs, the band have now offered a wider scope of their capabilities with their debut full-length, ‘Through Love & Death, You’re All I Have Left’. The record is jam packed full of all the emotions you could think of whilst dealing with hard hitting topics, ranging from heartbreak to mental health, and even grief.
Opener ‘Blank Canvas’ sets the tone for the album perfectly. It’s raw and honest, with the music and lyrics complimenting each other throughout as it encapsulates the iconic angry break-up song.
Dude Trips have a talent to tell a story so vividly through their lyrics that you will find yourself very quickly becoming more involved in the story being sang than you were probably ever expecting. There’s an underlying vibe of early Jesse Lacey (Brand New) storytelling ability in this band that is incredibly impressive.
As you’d expect from an emo record, there’s some real heart-wrenching tracks on display here, with ‘Tampa Bay’ certainly being one of the standout cuts. It’s four minutes of an honest open letter to an ex-girlfriend that will leave you with a whole range of feelings.
As well as songs about break-ups and bad relationships, another topic that’s present throughout is the theme of losing friends and relatives. The band use their own personal stories to represent sensitive matters that aren’t always spoken about enough, such as on ‘Kit’, which deals with the topic of teenage suicide. It’s dealt with so tastefully and should be a credit to the band at how beautifully they can write about such a delicate topic.
Something that sets Dude Trips aside from many other emerging bands treading down a similar path is that they are very clearly a band that stay true to their roots, as vocalist Jamie Mathers uses his Scottish accent to accentuate certain words which makes for a really effective and unique sound.
Dude Trips are a band who have a lot of fresh talent, and if ‘Through Love & Death, You’re All I Have Left’ is anything to go by as a debut album, then we should be expecting some very big things to come from this Scottish outfit.