‘Mend, Move On’ – Trophy Eyes
Release Date: November 4th 2014
Record Label: Hopeless Records
Review By: Matt Henson
You may not realise it, but Australia has done a decent job of producing some of the most celebrated bands on the alternative / rock seen over the past 20+ years, AC/DC, Silverchair and Parkway Drive amongst them. Now, the dudes down under are coming for the pop punk scene and look like they may do a job of winning you over.
Trophy Eyes come all the way from Newcastle, South Wales, and have just released their first full length record Mend, Move On as a follow up to their April EP release Everything goes away… and they’ve got a lot of shit they want to get off their chest. Although relatively new to the scene, Trophy Eyes seem to have settled themselves within a sound that fans of Such Gold and Polar Bear Club will automatically be drawn to with familiarity and intrigue. The album has also been released off of Hopeless Records, which normally sparks interest from fans of the genre, given its exponentially successful rosta of current bands.
April’s release Everything goes away was an interesting record for a debut, focusing on some pretty dark realities like the loss of friends to meth addiction, the death of family members, and the difficulties of dealing with isolation and self doubt. However, between the EP and Mend, Move on, the band seemed to have had a kick up the arse or a serious pep talk as the record resonates with a tough type of acceptance and a little weary optimism.
It’s sometimes hard to categorise the genre that skates between pop punk and melodic hardcore, but the record seems to have have found a balance of driven hardcore guitar on top of pop punk melodies to create a perfect canvas for voice cracking, lunch aching vocals. Think Knucklepuck with the unabashed honesty of a Defeater record.
The record will have no trouble earning it’s pop punk stripes with it’s lyrical content, ticking all the boxes of struggling youth. From not wanting to turn out like your father, obsessing over burned bridges, and contemptuous oversight of relationships, the record will hit it’s listeners with the same sucker punching feeling everyone will relate to crossing from youth to adulthood. However, it’s the acceptance of their flaws and responsibilities that show a little maturity of what is still a very young band. The final track “Penfold State Forest” ties it up neatly at the end, stating “I’m tired of writing sad songs / Because that’s all that I have left / It’s the things that I reflect on that make me who I am”
‘Mend, Move on’ appears to be personal advice given to Trophy Eyes and it seems to be paying off for them. The record isn’t doing anything new or innovative, and could be forgiven for being an album from any of the previous bands mentioned, but it’s important to focus on it’s positives. As a debut from such a young band, this album is solid and has enough musical stamina to stand toe to toe with it’s contemporaries. 2015 will bring Trophy Eyes over to the UK on Neck Deep’s headline tour, along with Knucklepuck and Seahaven which in it’s self is a bit of a super show for new pop punk, and will be a great test to see how they fair in the ever expanding scene. So give the album a listen, you may discover your new favourite band, but if nothing else, it’ll make you feel better if you’re having a pretty shit day.