Trial Kennedy
Living Undesigned


4.0
excellent

Review

by Billy USER (32 Reviews)
May 15th, 2011 | 34 replies | 7,031 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An excellent follow up full of infectious and unconventional pop rock.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Sophomore albums are always the hardest records to make, with many, many artists failing to live up to their debuts. The lead up to the recording of Trial Kennedy’s sophomore release ‘Living Undesigned’ almost killed the band. In the three years since their debut, Trial Kennedy has lost their record label and a bassist, dealt with heart surgery on their lead singer and nearly broken up on countless occasions, culminating in the band disappearing off the face of the earth. Upon their re-emergence, what has resulted is the very honest, emotional rock album that is ‘Living Undesigned.’ Gone is the upbeat pop from ‘New Manic Art,’ replaced by Trial Kennedy at their darkest and most sincere. Despite the dramatic change in tone, ‘Living Undesigned’ is still inherently catchy, one just has to dig a little deeper to find the hooks.

Opening jaunt ‘Sally’ sees Trial Kennedy doing what they do best – writing crisp and unconventional rock songs with hooks galore, however the darker tone is noticeable from the outset. Despite this, Trial Kennedy remain as catchy as ever, drawing from bands such as Birds of Tokyo and Anberlin before putting their own zest into the mix. First single ‘Best of Tomorrow’ is a perfect example of this, while lacking the immediacy of the band’s earlier hits (see ‘Knife Light’ or ‘Colour Day Tours’) it is no less catchy. The band really hits their stride on ‘Breath a Dime,’ one of the more upbeat numbers full of delay soaked guitar licks and an equally impressive chorus.

Tim Morrison’s unique vocal chords are again the band’s strong point, providing plenty of impressive lines throughout. Tracks like ‘Arrest Room’ and ‘Breath a Dime’ are perfect examples of this, where Morrison shows off his impressive vocal range. Similarly, guitarist Stacy Gray has plenty of standout moments. ‘Strange Behaviour’s rolling guitar riff is bound to be hummed for days, while his work in ‘Exology’ is nothing short of outstanding, despite neither being overly complex. The rhythm section of new bassist Richard Buxton and drummer Shaun Gionis is consistently solid throughout, with their energetic, albeit subtle approach never letting up.

Such is the infectiousness of Trial Kennedy. While there is nothing complex about the quartet’s music, their music is, at heart, bloody catchy. It’s not hard at all to nod one’s head along to the chorus of songs such as ‘Cold War’ or ‘Sally’ amongst others. ‘Cold War’ sees the band at what is their most upbeat on Living Undesigned, featuring what is probably the best chorus on the album. While opener ‘Sally’ typifies the band’s updated guise, producing a more mature and well thought out sound whilst retaining the band’s earlier penchant for obscenely catchy choruses. Meanwhile, ‘Arrest Room’ could quite easily be one of the songs of 2011. Its sombre build up of strings and keys providing the perfect backdrop for Morrison’s impressive vocals before letting loose in the chorus with a torrent of emotion.

While there isn’t the same plethora of pop hooks to be found when compared to Trial Kennedy’s debut, ‘Living Undesigned’ is still chock full of the infectious rock the band is loved for, albeit with a darker edge. Given their recent history, simply releasing their second album is a triumph for the quartet. Their sophomore album is the band’s most mature work to date, across all areas. When taking into account the quality of the music to be found, Trial Kennedy are well on the way to returning to their previous heights. ‘Living Undesigned’ is a brilliant step forward from a band deserving of so much more.



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user ratings (13)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Vooligan
May 15th 2011



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Get this album.

You can hear most of the tracks on their facebook page.

AtavanHalen
May 15th 2011



17927 Comments


Looking forward to this. Seeing them on Thursday.

Vooligan
May 15th 2011



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You'll love this, David. I saw them on friday night, the new songs sound great live.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 15th 2011



6937 Comments


Great review Vools, have this pos.

Wolfhorde
May 15th 2011



12070 Comments


Uh, gonna listen. I'm having a huge sympathy for Australian Rock bands.

Vooligan
May 15th 2011



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Chances are you'll love it.

Wolfhorde
May 15th 2011



12070 Comments


Definitely liked the first album. "War King" is still on my Ipod. It'd be great if there'd be more new material coming from some of your bands down there. I always like listening to Karnivool in summer.

Spare
May 15th 2011



5252 Comments


this band are pretty cool regardless of the fact triple j whore them around which usually means a band sucks

will maybe get

Digging: Radiator Hospital - Torch Song

Vooligan
May 15th 2011



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely get it dude.

It's a great album.

Mordecai.
May 15th 2011



8270 Comments


fuck yeh love these guys

AtavanHalen
May 15th 2011



17927 Comments


this band are pretty cool regardless of the fact triple j whore them around which usually means a band sucks


No seriously

Dumbest thing you have ever said

Vooligan
May 15th 2011



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seriously. Arrest room is so good.

Spare
May 16th 2011



5252 Comments


i'm so right though

WhiteNoise
May 16th 2011



3045 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been meaning to check these guys out. Should I start with this or the first?

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

Vooligan
May 16th 2011



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Start with this and work backwards through their catalogue. I can see this being more up your alley, dude.

WhiteNoise
May 20th 2011



3045 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool man. Just looked up strange behaviour and enjoyed what I heard.

Jim
May 25th 2011



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great, solid album. i hope these guys have a better time making their next one.

listening to songs like sally and arrest room makes me think these guys are capable of anything.

Vooligan
May 26th 2011



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still obsessed with Arrest Room.

Shit is so damn good.

Drpibb
June 24th 2011



122 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Need. More. New. Aussie. Rock.

WhiteNoise
July 3rd 2011



3045 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Loving these guys sound. So many aussie bands are forgetting to add balls to their sound and it's great to hear these guys have a definite pop sound but without all the indie crap that so many bands are doing at the moment.

Gonna pick up this album finally today!



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