Trophy Scars
Never Born, Never Dead


5.0
classic

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson EMERITUS
July 23rd, 2011 | 1097 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The kind of record that can make you believe in music again

Listening to Never Born, Never Dead without also taking into account Trophy Scars’ previous EP, Darkness, Oh Hell, is to rob yourself of an integral part of what makes NB,ND so perfect. Where Darkness was a semi-fictional apocalyptic journey through a mans drug addled summer, full of, well, literal darkness with only small handfuls of light, NB,ND fits perfectly as a companion piece; pondering the cyclic nature of love, existence, and memory, it goes beyond the tunnel vision of Darkness’ scope and creates a large, sweeping concept that exudes a charming sense of hope and thoughtfulness.

Throughout the record, Trophy Scars eschew musical norms and simply do whatever is necessary to bring the album to its full potential. The lyrics are the most obvious example of this: often singer Jerry Jones disregards what someone would consider keeping his lyrics “sane” and goes off the wall with crazy storytelling and silly, but endearing phrases. “Snake Oil” details a man still obsessed with an old flame, and instead of taking itself too seriously approaches a tired cliché with cute wit:

I saw my old lady
Down at the the grocery store
I said "who you buying them groceries for?"
She said "it aint your business no more"
“I don't care
What's his name”
She says "Baby -
You just got yourself to blame."


Elsewhere, the lyrical content ties together the pattern of lovers continually meeting and falling for each other, whether it ends in bliss or venom. “Messengers” takes an interesting twist on the Stagger Lee story, detailing perhaps the first ‘awakening’ our main characters have in regards to one another. However, the most poignant part of the story comes between “Angels” and “Never Dead”, as the band bridges the youthful innocence of puppy love in “Angels” and the climax of their immediately tragic ultimately serene story arc in “Never Dead”, all connected by one of the most PERFECTLY utilized samples I’ve ever heard (Lost fans will flip a ***n and probably cry. No seriously, good chance you‘ll well up a bit. Even if you're not a Lost fan. Probably an equal chance).

Where the concept is the heart and soul of Never Born, Never Dead, the beauty of the album is in its composition. No single member of the band ever tries to overstep anyone else, and the result is a sound that feels vibrant, lush, and exotic. The album utilizes many different kinds of instrumentation, but none of it is ever shoehorned in, rather they all compliment each other. “Never Dead” is the perfect example, a song that slowly builds until pretty much every instrument Trophy Scars had in studio is playing, but unlike what they may have perhaps done in a past time, everything is being played to compliment and punctuate everyone else. It’s a thing of beauty to hear the emotional (think “Comfortably Numb”-like) guitar solo transition into the dense explosion that ends “Never Dead”.

In the end though, all of that crazy orchestration and songwriting only serves to highlight the simple elegance of Never Born, Never Dead. Regardless of what the story may be behind the album, regardless of what instruments they use or how they put them together, or even what they may have expressly meant to produce, Never Born, Never Dead succeeds because it taps into some deeper meaning of what music can be: a sprawling, emotional, spiritual and ambitious work that by not pretending to take itself seriously, becomes so much more honest than 99% of music being put out today.

And if I told you we live forever
Would you ever believe?
I love you so much more than forever
But now it's time for sleep




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Kris.
July 23rd 2011


13004 Comments


negged dude cant write for shit anymore

mynameischan
Emeritus
July 23rd 2011


17959 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

hey dude where's the stream fr this

mynameischan
Emeritus
July 23rd 2011


17959 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

"llol john i love you"



just summed up the next forty pages from yur poseur friends

Kris.
July 23rd 2011


13004 Comments


whether it end in bliss or venom


should be ends

Even if your not a Lost fan


you're

It’s a thing of beauty to hear the emotional (think “Comfortably Numb”-like) guitar solo transition into the dense explosion that ends “Never Dead”.


TOLD YOU

Jash
July 23rd 2011


4245 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

review is money. this album is so fucking good

Kris.
July 23rd 2011


13004 Comments


yea whatever youre welcome for pointing out those glaring errors youd probably have missed

qwe3
July 23rd 2011


21689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

is this really that good or

mynameischan
Emeritus
July 23rd 2011


17959 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

you wouldn't like it

taxidermist
July 23rd 2011


7224 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is pretty awesome. Nice review, John...BUT I EXPECTED LONGER.

mynameischan
Emeritus
July 23rd 2011


17959 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

JOHN I KNOW YOU SO WELL I DREAMED ABOUT THIS REVIEW BEFORE YOU EVEN CONCEIVED IT IN YOUR BRAIN

qwe3
July 23rd 2011


21689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you wouldn't like it




: (



i already dled it

MBS
July 23rd 2011


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It’s me

Baby, it’s me

I’m here love

And if you don’t believe I’ll kiss your cheek

I’ll climb into your bed underneath the sheets

And we’ll call it quits together

And that’s ok by me




this is my favorite set of lines in the ep, it's pretty solid. the lost sample and the adaptation. sample are all super killer as well, and they're perfectly placed. i can't get enough of darkness, oh hell and now i can't get enough of this.



edit - AH LURVE YEW PENNEH

taxidermist
July 23rd 2011


7224 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

THe lyrics for this are awesome.

twlichty
July 23rd 2011


3614 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

oooooo lyrics....





i'll see if the MUSIC is good

qwe3
July 23rd 2011


21689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

idk i liked hospital music iirc so i'll give this a shot anyways nice 'view

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2011


32190 Comments


I'll hop on this bandwagon

twlichty
July 23rd 2011


3614 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah that was enjoyable, this an their last ep combined makes for an epic collection of songs.

MBS
July 23rd 2011


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

his vocals sound a bit ridiculous and forced on some bits (MY LIFE HAD CHAAAANGED, YOU HAAAAAD A BAAYYYBEE) but the overall composition and instrumentation are so solid that it's really easy to look past





qwe3
July 23rd 2011


21689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

instrumentation on this is bootiful



dude is that a fkcing OBOE on snake oil yessir



also vocals aren't a problem for me at all. I like them actually.

MBS
July 23rd 2011


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i think he does a great job of portraying his subject matter though




oh definitely, can't refute that



trazodone has such fucking seedy undertones to it, and never born has sold me on his ability to paint a vivid picture with words



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