Two years since their last full length release, Trophy Eyes are back with The American Dream, and the Australian pop punk crew have returned with one of the strongest collections of songs the genre has seen for many years. Clocking in at just shy of 40 minutes, they have trimmed all the fat off of this third album, leaving the meat of 12 excellent melody-led songs.
Autumn begins with a simple guitar line and a looped vocal, some brilliant production, and a mix that pushes the drums far higher than most of their contemporaries, displaying the excellent rhythm work of Blake Caruso. But then in comes this band’s not-so-secret weapon: the excellent melodic vocal lines and huge choruses provided by vocalist John Floreani. The choruses right across this album, from it’s opener to You Can Count On Me to the records stand out moment in Friday Forever are enormous, and are perfect sing-alongs. The latter is a piece of three minute brilliance that should have it’s rightful place on any summer playlist from now until the end of time.
The lyrics are another stand-out on this release. Gone are the genre stereotypes of leaving home and whining about the the town you grew up in, replaced by heartfelt musings about childhood and growth (Autumn), reflections on the life of an artist (You Can Count On Me) and slipping through life without actually living (Miming In The Choir). They seem to have taken some queues from bands like The Menzingers, with their storytelling and greater leaning on the modern punk sound, rather than pushing into excessively poppy territory.
Beyond this, they display an ability to write ballads that avoid the sickly sweet and overly cloying pitfalls so regularly stumbled upon, but to instead craft excellent slower songs like Tip Toe. This begins at a point not a million miles away from the lighter end of Biffy Clyro, with the squeak of guitar strings clearly audible, before a Phil Spectre-esque wall of sound kicks in and the beautiful strings drive the song to its conclusion.
In short, this is a magnificent album of twelve brilliantly crafted songs and one of the best releases of the year so far.