Trophy Scars
Hospital Music


5.0
classic

Review

by Nick Greer EMERITUS
January 14th, 2005 | 100 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


This CD is really difficult to explain. I could throw out terms like "original," "intelligent," and "sodomy" but I would never really be able to explain this CD. It has an x-factor going for it. I will try to explain as I go through the songs but it may be difficult. Whatever.

There Are Ghosts
Some leading paranormal events specialist and some realists claim "ghosts aren't real" but Trophy Scars boldy exclaims, "There Are Ghosts" on the first song of their album. Of course it's metaphorical but the eerie reverb effect on the solitary piano, which coupled with the tortured voice can make a believer out of the most skeptical. It's compelling to listen to something that exists so paradoxically as this album and this song embodies that pretty wel; though the song is absolutely haunting and unnerving, it remains beautiful and very easy and natural to listen to. Something I'd like to stress about this album is that the songs are written well enough that the aberrations sound fitting but when you step back from the album you realized you just listened to a highly odd piece of music but while you were listening, it so enveloped you that everything seemed fitting in the off-kilter ghost world that is Hospital Music for the Aesthetics of Language."
9/10

Designed Like Dice (Crickets in Tune)
The beginning starts crisp and staccato but then the cleaner guitar swells in and the song truly begins. The intro is pretty ambient and drags you through a weird vocal melody and rhythm, which will soon become very familiar and standard. The tone of this guy's voice is so weird. Upon listening to it the first time I decided there where something off but I couldn't put a finger on it. Then when I tried to sing along my voice couldn't comfortably reach that high. he sings in a higher register without sounding flagrantly high-voiced like Anthony Green from Saosin or Cluadio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria. Essentially, he has a high voice but not, which is yet another intriguing paradox in this music. Then the screaming and octave riffs comes in. The guitar can be jangly but the sound of the album is pretty dense. Trophy Scars generally will have a heavy, distorted guitar part that plays octaves or power chords and then a slow-paced riff on top that is resounding and spooky above the other stuff. The bass fills out the sound and connect the melody to the drumming really well. This song is pretty boring and run-of-the-mill by the standards set elsewhere on the album but this song certainly has a kick to it. There are some really fun parts, especially when Jerry sings "reqire your contract" and the beat is upbeat but the song is still really distorted. The drumming is something I'll gush about on the next track. For now I'll focus on the bridge. It is a display of an area where Trophy Scars excels. They have a sense of ambience and density from really simply arpeggios and layering different parts. The parts keep on building to well up all the emotion and energy of the song and spill it out into the crescendo. Awesome.
8/10

Sleep Little Nemo (The Kidnapping!)
This song is based on an old-school comic. I'm not familiar with it but the story is on their website ([url]www.trophyscars.com[/url]). This song is a mastery of tone and beat. The tone of the wailing guitar is just ridiculously amazing and there are little points throughout the song where you can really recognize that Trophy Scars doesn't just have a unique sound in the holistic sense but also in the piecewise technical sense. Their instruments sound so so good, which I guess is a tribute to Chris Badami, the producer. On to the beats. Pretty much this drummer isn't just a good technical drummer, but he also has a sense of the moment. He knows when to play fast when to back off, when to come in after the guitars or before the guitars. These little nitpicky things really add up to help the song flow well. This song is sonically made up of only a few parts but the drumming changes so well that everything feels like it's progressing and changing up like some prog metal song. It's an interesting effect and it just helps perfect this energetic, amazing song.
10/10

...And That's Where They Found My Body
This song is really danceable. Probably the interaction of the the bass and drums and the fact that the vocals, especially the background ones are amazingly catchy. There's also fun repeating guitar riffs that make the song just HOLY CRAP! I love it so hard. This is probably my favorite song on the album. I mean the first half of the song is just catchy, upbeat, and fun but then everything sort of shifts into a slower ambient part. Once again they employ the building method where instrumental parts keep on coming in. This time though they add jazzy keyboard in the background. Trophy Scars adds these subtle touches to their songs that really make them soar above other bands. I mean this sounds like danceable, upbeat post-hardcore (which in itself seems almost impossible) but then there's lounge jazz keyboard in the background soloing while everybody else is just building on this and adding riffs and hell yes, let this song love on forever.
10/10

The Hair-Trigger Flemenco
Aside from having one of the best song titles ever, this song is great. This is where the "Dance like you're dead" reprise comes in. There is cool effect on the guitar the makes them twangy but with sustain so when they strum it holds in this weird way. This song's structure is pretty straightforward compared to those of other Trophy Scars songs but there are these cool mini-breakdowns throughout the song. The best ones are when the singer goes "babababababababa" and the guitar are playing tritones or something dissonant and the drums are freaking out. The part where this song really gets great is at the bridge. It seems like it would be getting old at this place to have a quiet ambient bridge but nay! it is achieved anew with grace once again. This once has cool harmonics and the lyrics are great. You find yourself singing along to a great poem with some great meter. It's all so pretty and surreal at this point. It's like a dream sequence because of the sweet, airy guitar but then everything explodes with "Dance...dance" over and over with the reprise repeated in a fashoin that sounds so impassioned and emotive that every time I hear it, even right now as I'm lying down I think about how great it would be to flail to this. Just hardcore dance or mosh even though I don't. It's earnest energy just makes me want to get up and destroy the world in a flurry of fists.
10/10

Lindsey and the Endless Wall of Alarm Clocks
Weird title, weird song. Of course. This whole CD is weird but by this juncture it sounds only right. The song drags in the beginning. It's not bad because it ends in a nice ballady type song. The paino motif is reintroduced here and hearkens back to "There Are Ghosts" but the paino is less sinister. It's more wistful and sad, which is made all the more poignant by the sound clip in the middle of the song. The lover's voices are so frustrated and defeated. It's undoubtedly tragic and the song fits that perfectly. At the instant everything seems unbearably sad Trophy Scars puls out with the backlash to such sadness. They explode. There is a crescendo like none other. The bass rolls underneath the whole time and the guitar plays their octaves more furiously than ever and the singer just belts out and the guitar wails some more oh god stop reading this and go to [url]www.smartpunk.com[/url] right now and purchase this CD!
9/10

Album score: 97%



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Comments:Add a Comment 
BuddyBigsby
May 15th 2004


531 Comments


Very good band, very good band indeed. You got da[font=verdana]m[/font]n detailed. Is this an EP?

blueyxd
May 15th 2004


77 Comments


I'm not into hardcore at all, but this sounds pretty interesting. im going to check them out

DFelon204409
Emeritus
May 16th 2004


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[QUOTE=BuddyBigsby]Very good band, very good band indeed. You got da[font=verdana]m[/font]n detailed. Is this an EP?[/QUOTE]

Ya it's an EP but it clocks in at about 30 minutes, which is the average time for a punk album so I didn't bother distinguishing it as an EP. Also, when you listen to it, it sounds full and varied as if you've just listened to an LP.


[QUOTE=blueyxd]I'm not into hardcore at all, but this sounds pretty interesting. im going to check them out[/QUOTE]

This isn't hardcore buddyo. It's just different with post-hardcore being the closest genre possible. For some mp3s I'd try www.purevolume.com/trophyscars

cbmartinez
June 15th 2004


2525 Comments


Awesome Review man. I heard about this band a couple days ago and I've been wanting to check em out. I definitely will now after reading this. Good Job.

PS Trophy Scars is playing Warped this year.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
June 15th 2004


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I know. They're only doing New Jersey and maybe a New York show. It's all at www.trophyscars.com except the updates on their tour of the west coast because the other bands on the tour, Lorene Drive (www.lorenedrive.com) is organizing it, so I've had to get my updates from there. I'm so pumped. I'm probably going on June 27th to Concord unless they come by San Francisco. I've been waiting so freakin long.

pixiesfanyo
June 15th 2004


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I could throw out terms like "original," "intelligent," and "sodomy"


I think sodomy really sums them up

Lorene-Drive
July 7th 2004


1 Comments


I just saw this band here in Boise two days ago. They were by far my favorite of the bands that played. The others being Lorene Drive, Mac Orange, and Trashing Andi. I loved them, I enjoyed the drummer Brian Ferrara a lot. I don't know his name, nor whether he plays the bass or guitar, but he was the most awesome in their band. He had a huge afro and he was really good, I talked to him and he was a really funny guy. I just bought their CD there and I'm listening to it right now, this band freaking rules!

BuddyBigsby
July 7th 2004


531 Comments


I forgot about that Trophy Scars tour in Cali...

*hopes it didn't pass*

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 7th 2004


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[QUOTE=Lorene-Drive]I just saw this band here in Boise two days ago. They were by far my favorite of the bands that played. The others being Lorene Drive, Mac Orange, and Trashing Andi. I loved them, I enjoyed the drummer Brian Ferrara a lot. I don't know his name, nor whether he plays the bass or guitar, but he was the most awesome in their band. He had a huge afro and he was really good, I talked to him and he was a really funny guy. I just bought their CD there and I'm listening to it right now, this band freaking rules![/QUOTE]

His name is Josh. I had an e-mail correspondence with him for a while. He's a really cool, funny guy and his dancing while he played was so freakin' awesome!

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 7th 2004


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[QUOTE=BuddyBigsby]I forgot about that Trophy Scars tour in Cali...

*hopes it didn't pass*[/QUOTE]

It probably did if you're in LA like I'm guessing.

jubella44
September 2nd 2004


1 Comments


Can anyone tell me if there is a trophy scars message board, there isnt one on their official site. This band is brilliant, huge potential, they deserve much more attention than they are getting and i cant believe that they arent signed.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
September 10th 2004


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[QUOTE=jubella44]Can anyone tell me if there is a trophy scars message board, there isnt one on their official site. This band is brilliant, huge potential, they deserve much more attention than they are getting and i cant believe that they arent signed.[/QUOTE]

Well, they talked to Ferret, Fearless, and a few other labels and all the labels said keep on touring and putting out stuff and they may be picked up once many of them can commit full time (some are in college).

Sep
December 10th 2004


297 Comments


Trophy Scars are so amazing, I checked them out a while ago. I want to get this album.

pixiesfanyo
December 10th 2004


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They released two new songs on their Pure Volume.

Happymeal
December 10th 2004


330 Comments


They sound more metal-ish now, imo

surfkauai
December 11th 2004


30 Comments


Im liking this.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 12th 2004


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[QUOTE=Happymeal]They sound more metal-ish now, imo[/QUOTE]

It's not that. It's just they put some more generic breakdowns in with the more interesting, offbeat stuff. It seems more brutal but it's just the breakdowns.

..Trogdor's Revenge..
December 29th 2004


3 Comments


Does anybody know if this is still availible because both Interpunk and Smartpunk are sold out, and i heard somewhere that there were only 1000 copies pressed, I really want this too.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
January 28th 2005


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's not that it's more metal, it's that they have these more generic breakdowns in their songs instead of their usual weird experimental breakdowns that aren't really breakdowns. It's meant to be a crowd pleaser sort of thing. Their bassist sent me like 3 new songs that aren't on purevolume and they're really good. I don't think they're up to snuff with this EP but they are demos right now and aren't fully fleshed out. Still, good music.

Loucifer
June 23rd 2005


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love Trophy Scars. They really are great, I want them to come to England..



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