Trophy Eyes - Chemical Miracles

Australia's rock scene is a force to be reckoned with, but besides its progressive and classic output, nothing much else tends to see the light of day. There are some up and coming contenders who are in the game to steal the limelight - the ones that have gained the most momentum is Trophy Eyes.

The Newcastle outfit has offered up their second record Chemical Miracles, continuing to develop a cross between pop punk and post-hardcore. The sound of the record is a sort of blend between Take This To Your Grave-era Fall Out Boy and the modern indie cries of Modern Baseball. Songs cross between heavy, angry screaming packed with sweaty emotions (see 'Nose Bleed') and sweet and melodic ('Home Is'). Often times, the two sounds blend between verse and chorus, one of them dominating its own part of the track.

It's a pop punk record at its very core, and that alone sprouts several issues, more so by circumstance rather than by result. Pop punk is on an insurrection, the forerunners bearing the flag are Moose Blood (see our review of Blush here), with the bigger bands who carried the genre are releasing their own records. Even with the modern flair on the genre, the newcomers are having trouble keeping it original. Trophy Eyes has a good balance on Chemical Miracles. First track 'Chlorine' has that sweet blend of melodic choruses, screamed verses, and distorted guitars, complete with a stripped down and intimate end.

Balance is essential, and while Chemical Miracles as a whole has it, individual songs don't. There's an identity crisis occurring in nearly every other song. 'Chemical' starts understatedly but becomes bewilderingly angry, with the subtle instrumental carrying on when the screams are done. A more complete example is 'Rain On Me', its angry growls paired with its big guitars leads it to be a strong track, but it struggles with wanting to be angry or melodic - it can't decide. 

The gems on the record do shine out. Among them is 'Breathe You In', the wonderfully executed alternative rock anthem that bursts with sweet yet heavy guitars and nice melodies - a solid but effective alt. rock track. It's not lost or confused like other songs on the record are; it has it's purpose and sets out to fulfill it. Closer track 'Daydreamer' is similar, the quiet intro building up with more emotion as it progresses. Gang vocals, heavy guitars, and sweet belts are what build the song to its closure, taking the album out on a high and emotional ending.

Trophy Eyes have a long way to go before making it big, but Chemical Miracles is a good show that there is potential. The band has a solid grasp on what it tries to accomplish - they just have to solidify what exactly it is that they want to do. After that, they'll be busting out tunes out of thin air.

Favorite Tracks: Breather You In, Daydreamer, Chlorine

Least Favorite Track: Chemical

Rating: 70 / 100

2nd Quarter Of 2016 in Music - Wrap Up

2016 is still rolling by, and the albums are getting more diverse. Here's what I've listened to over the last three months (April - June) and links to the albums I've reviewed.

5-Star Albums (8.5 - 10)

4-Star Albums (6.5 - 8)

3-Star Albums (4.5 - 6)

2-Star Albums (2.5 - 4)

  • None!

1-Star Albums (0 - 2)


Top Albums Of 2016 (so far)

  1. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
  2. AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend
  3. Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor
  4. Deftones - Gore
  5. Dream Theater - The Astonishing
  6. Foxes - All I Need
  7. Daughter - Not To Disappear
  8. Gojira - Magma
  9. Thrice - To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere
  10. Architects All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

Top Songs Of 2016 (so far)

  1. AURORA - 'Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) (Acoustic)'
  2. Radiohead - 'True Love Waits'
  3. Deftones - 'Hearts/Wires'
  4. Radiohead - 'Daydreaming' *
  5. Panic! At The Disco - 'Emperor's New Clothes'
  6. Foxes - 'Better Love'
  7. Lacey Sturm - 'Rot'
  8. AURORA - 'Through The Eyes Of A Child'
  9. Deftones - 'Phantom Bride'
  10. Thrice - 'Black Honey'

Once again, thanks for reading our reviews and following us! :) There's a lot more to come. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page so you don't miss anything!

Modern Baseball - Holy Ghost

The whole emo “sing like you don’t care” scene is all the craze in punk today, and lots of artists are failing to find a niche within the sound and become just another whiny band. Modern Baseball escapes that cliché with their new album, Holy Ghost

Honestly, I categorized MoBo under that cliché before I heard this album, and I still standby that most of their material prior sounds that way to me (&I saw them live at Skate And Surf twice!). Regardless, this album was definitely a refreshing sound to sore ears. Beginning with the folky acoustic lo-fi ‘Holy Ghost’, the albums starts off on a sweet and sombre note. The good vibes kick in immediately with ‘Wedding Singer’, that builds on the sweet intro with an alternative rock drive to it and elaborates on the sweetness of the beginning. ‘Note To Self’ follows up on the vibes with a big summer vibe. Lots of the songs have that big sound with a taste of good feelings, such as ‘Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind’. The closure track on the record, ‘Just Another Face’ is a grand song to close on, triumphant all the while ending the album on a thematically pleasing way.

That isn’t to say there are some low points on the record. The sincerity of the track ‘Hiding’ is completely ruined by the murderous distorted drum sample that plays right in the middle of it. Do yourself a favor and turn your volume down for this one. The song builds softly with little tidbits in the background that just clutter up the song, and it would honestly be my favorite song on the album had it not been for all these rogue samples. The second half of the album barring ‘Just Another Face’ feels uninspired, as well; ‘Coding These To Lukens’ is dinky but lacks any substance, making it feel like a filler. ‘Breathing In Stereo’ is a strong punch to the face, but the energy is thrown off by the following tracks that have the same issue ‘Coding’ does.

Modern Baseball made a profound mark on the indie punk culture, and while I still stand by my original opinions on their back catalogue, Holy Ghost is definitely an all around great record. With the genre becoming more monotone with acts who fill the cliché, this album was a refresher. Perhaps it’s time to give them another chance.

Favorite Tracks: Wedding Singer, Just Another Face, Holy Ghost

Least Favorite Tracks: Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind; What If...

Rating: 7/10