EP: Trophy Scars – Darkness, Oh Hell

Release Date: October 26th, 2010
Label: Small Town Records
Website: www.trophyscars.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/trophyscars


There are no words to truly describe the sound of this New Jersey experimental six piece. The band (now onto their eighth release) has a truly unique sound, blending elements of jazz, blues, rock and roll, post-hardcore and punk. Another thing they have at their disposal is the unique and slightly odd vocal style of Jerry Jones, who fluctuates between whispers, clean singing and spoken screams.

The intention of the band’s new material was to be “dark and wacky” and based upon the intro ‘Sauvez-Moi De L’enfer’ alone, it is clear that this is exactly what it is going to be. Its haunting piano riff fuses with Jones‘ unusual style to create a piece of music that is both truly ridiculous but as equally intriguing. And as the band kick into ‘Nausea’, it’s clear that this is no ordinary band. The song’s huge riff combined with jazz instrumentation is fascinating. However, this formula quickly becomes boring and unlistenable pretty quickly. Halfway through ‘Darkness’ is when it becomes apparent that this EP has lost all of its early promise.

‘Trazodone’ starts off slow, but picks up at the back end in a wave of colossal hardcore/punk fury, which rather than adding than adding credit to the band, only takes it away as the song ends up sound muddled, and indecisive. This is also the case, on the dull and far too strung out ‘Sad Stanley’. Perhaps the only redeeming feature of this EP is the well executed guitar solo in ‘Time In Heaven, Forever In Hell’, however not even that can salvage this train wreck.

The odd combination of styles and musical background is far too complex for the band’s sound to ever truly work. There are good elements to it, but the end result is an EP that is quite unlistenable, and sounds rather hashed together in a way that makes them seem like they are trying to do too much, which they are.

Written by Oliver Thompson