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Trophy Scars – “Qeres”

This already feels like the riskiest inclusion on this list so far.  Trophy Scars don’t exactly have the clout of a band like Titus Andronicus or The Dillinger Escape Plan, yet here they are, nestled snug on my cement-as-fuck decade enshrinement.  But let me ease any concerns: they deserve to be here.  OK, feel better?

First of all, Holy Vacants is a nearly perfect album so I brought up the tracks in a playlist, put a blindfold on,and punched my keyboard to see which song would end up earning this honor.  Well, not quite, but it could have been that easy!  The real reason is that no song rocks nearly as hard as “Qeres” – sure, “Everything Disappearing” is a haunting penultimate track (for all intents and purposes it’s the real closer), and “Crystallophobia” is about the catchiest goddamn thing since the plague, but I think I’m talking myself out of the point I was trying to make so I’m going to stop.  “Qeres” dominates Holy Vacants before the clock even hits 00:01 – I kid you not, hit play and look at the timestamp.  Electric guitars are rollicking from the get-go; the song starts this high but then the drums kick in, along with that magnificent vocal duet, and it has already raised the stakes on itself like twenty measly seconds into the song.  And none of that even counts the best part – a dichotomous chorus which thrusts Jerry Jones’ comically gruff voice alongside those harmonious, angelic backdrops – each word highlighted by emphatic drum beats.  There’s a minute-long guitar solo that absolutely slays for the better part of the track’s midsection, and then they outdo themselves a fourth time (fifth? I lost count) with the introduction of brass horns…(takes breath for oxygen)….and basically any ridiculously epic thing that you can think of, well, it happens on “Qeres”.  If it doesn’t, I promise you it occurs sometime later on the album.

Trophy Scars have always been a ridiculous band for a wide array of reasons, ranging from insane concepts (Holy Vacants is about a couple who stalk and cannibalize angels after Hitler’s demise in World War II, thus keeping them young and in love forever) to the simple fact that Jones’ singing is, umm, an acquired taste.  But the bottom line is that all the different dimensions of weirdness add up to something spectacular and utterly unique, and “Qeres” represents Trophy Scars’ peak ambition.

Read about more from this decade:  Titus Andronicus – “A More Perfect Union” | Sufjan Stevens – “Impossible Soul” | mewithoutYou – “Rainbow Signs” | The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Farewell, Mona Lisa”





SowingSeason
01.20.19
Oh hey 2014 gem

calmrose
01.20.19
love this song, great pick

mynameischan
01.20.19
Best intro/outro ever. Also best band ever. Nice pick.

Slex
01.20.19
Great great song but I will always here on out question everything you say for not picking Everything Disappearing

Rowan5215
01.20.19
one of my least favourites on this album tbh, back half of the thing is absolutely loaded

neekafat
01.20.19
I've only heard 1 of these so far

Odal
01.20.19
The fact that Trophy Scars never got over the hump in terms of popularity honestly hurts as a fan. I am glad they are ostensibly making music again (still waiting on that album announcement A YEAR AND A HALF after they released what is supposedly its first single), but they simply deserve so much more from the insanely high-quality output they've produced. Everything released this decade guts me in ways that few songs and albums ever have. Seeing them in Chicago back in 2013 was easily one of my favorite concerts ever. Qeres is a beast of a track and absolutely one of the best in their storied career. Great pick

JohnnyoftheWell
01.20.19
Love this track so much, not quite as powerful as Everything Disappearing imo but one of the strongest on the album. Think the reason Trophy Scars lack clout is that their concepts and genre fusion are the stuff you'd expect to hear from parody bands, but this makes it all the more impressive when they deliver the goods.

mynameischan
01.20.19
i might have said this in my holy vacants review but trophy scars make the music that bruce springsteen would have made if he was born 30 years later

SowingSeason
01.20.19
I particularly agree with your sentiment that while other bands have effectively copied the music, it's Trophy Scars that actually tapped into the spirit. And also that they have mastered the art of the expressive guitar solo. So many bands just plop solos that don't fit into a song emotionally (or sometimes even technically) because, hey, we need a guitar solo so people will know we're a rock band. Trophy Scars are just at a whole other level that should embarrass other bands if there was any spirit of competition remaining in rock music.

Atari
01.20.19
"i might have said this in my holy vacants review but trophy scars make the music that bruce springsteen would have made if he was born 30 years later"

sold. engaging and quality write-up as always, Sowing

Sunnyvale
01.20.19
Everything Disappearing > Great great album though, haven't listened to it for too long

dmathias52
01.20.19
Never Dead is my favorite Trophy Scars song (obviously not from this album), but I can’t think of a song by then I don’t enjoy. Love to see the inclusion!

SowingSeason
01.20.19
Lots of preference for Everything Disappearing which I kind of expected. Looking back I'll remember Qeres more, but when listening to the record they're on the same plane of awesomeness.

ComeToDaddy
01.20.19
Yeah the Everything Disappearing calls are fair and warranted, but I always felt that song was better in the context of the album, I think they've got loads of better standalone songs. Qeres is a great pick though, the opening guitar line in this song blindsided me when I first heard it and 100% is what go me into the band as I hadn't heard them before this, always had a soft spot for it.

SowingSeason
01.20.19
Yeah I knew about Trophy Scars when this came out but it wasn't until this album, and particularly Qeres, that I knew these guys were special.

Slex
01.20.19
Never Born, Never Dead is their best imo, but both EPs and this form the best (and by a huge margin most underrated) discog of the decade for me

spanndrew58
01.21.19
One of my favorite albums of the decade, for sure.

SowingSeason
01.21.19
I need to revisit their EPs. I know I heard both of them (the ones released in 2010 and 2011) but I don't have them rated for some reason.

mynameischan
01.21.19
Yes you must revisit them

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