Trophy Eyes
Chemical Miracle


4.3
superb

Review

by Atari STAFF
October 17th, 2016 | 208 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I was never scared of dying alone, until I knew what it was like to have a home

Trophy Eyes don’t prepare you for the massive impact of Chemical Miracle. The three singles dropped prior to its release hinted the Australian hardcore act’s sophomore effort would be a large departure from their hardcore roots. So naturally, the abrasive yells of ‘Suicide Pact’ and chaotic drumming in ‘Rain on Me’ hit with the impact of an unexpected sucker punch - but in the best way possible. That’s not to say Chemical Miracle doesn’t find the band wading through calmer waters at times, but it’s a much more natural progression than expected. While their debut album, Mend, Move On, was constantly fueled by John Floreani’s gruff, throaty yells, their sophomore effort allows that aggression to take a back seat at times in exchange for a more subdued, dreamy structure. The album’s not a complete overhaul of their hardcore roots in any way, but it’s a giant step up from their rather repetitious debut in terms of songwriting and dynamics. In fact, Chemical Miracle could likely do for Trophy Eyes what Home, Like NoPlace Is There did for The Hotelier. With lyrics throughout the album undertaking painful topics such as suicide, depression and loss, the band’s sophomore effort is an emotional powerhouse that’s sure to strike a chord with its audience.

The first noticeable highlight in Chemical Miracle is without a doubt the improved vocal performance of John Floreani. Although he certainly got the job done yelling like a drunken frat boy throughout the band’s debut, his vocal approach felt nearly identical in every track. This isn’t an issue in the slightest here; Chemical Miracle has a much more flexible backbone, with Floreani seamlessly trading off between his signature screams and some unexpectedly soothing vocals. Opener ‘Chlorine’ showcasing this perfectly, with a potent mixture of angry and poignant lines that waste no time painting the first portrait of death: Tell me why I didn’t die in that swimming pool. When you saved my life, did you know that you would take your own" It’s pretty heavy ***, and from the moment the band reveals the tragedy of a lost loved one through the colorful opener ‘Chlorine,’ they never really stop throwing lyrical punches.

Given the potentially painful subject matter at hand, Chemical Miracle would be a lot more depressing were it not for the always alluring performance by all involved. Lyrics aside, it’s an aurally stimulating album that knows how to keep the listener feeling engaged. ‘Rain On Me’ is one of the best songs of the band’s career, with unnervingly fast drums, sharp tempo changes, and even a heavy metal-inspired riff session towards its back half that seems to give a nod to Black Sabbath. It’s a spastic, loud mixture of influences that contains the best of what Trophy Eyes have to offer, but it’s far from the only song that gets the blood pumping. While some songs are a potent mixture of both sides of Trophy Eyes, others tend to go one way or the other. ‘Daydreamer’ and ‘Breath You In’ find the band at the most subdued states yet, with the latter effectively leaving the listener in a relaxed trance as Floreani’s vocals wrap around them like a warm and fuzzy blanket. The soothing, slightly hypnotic vocals are accompanied by intricate drum patterns and sweeping guitar parts that lead into some of the most explosive choruses on the album. On the other hand, some tracks hit with a much stronger velocity: both ‘Chemical’ and ‘Miracle’ are brief cuts packed with as much anger and angst as could possibly fit in their short runtimes, and they mow over everything in their path with a startling fury.

Although Trophy Eyes do dip their toes in some much calmer seas on Chemical Miracle, there are just as many crashing waves and moments of relentless intensity. The combination of reflective and angry lyricism on display here surpasses anything the band penned on their debut, with ‘Home Is’ being contender for the most thought-provoking and relatable track lyrically. Following an Adam’s Song-esque guitar intro, the track thrusts the listener into a poignant and rowdy track that deals with anxiety associated with leaving home. It’s a fitting follow-up to the tranquil but lonely confessions revealed by Floreani in 'Breath You In': I was never scared of dying alone, until I knew what it was like to have a home. Nearly anyone can relate to feelings of isolation and doubt that come with trying to go out and make it in the world, and it’s these honest revelations that give Chemical Miracle such a magnetic connection with its audience. Deep cuts involving suicide, loss, and friendship are abundant throughout the album, especially in its second act. These messages may be hard to swallow, but they’re told with such a level of honesty and determination it’s hard not to get entangled in the madness. From continuous instrumental surprises to brutally honest lyrics, Trophy Eye’s sophomore effort is much more than a solid return, it’s an unanticipated punch to the gut - one that will leave the listener reeling as it rightfully earns its spot among the genre’s most passionate and achingly honest albums.



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user ratings (228)
Chart.
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 17th 2016


23864 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

this album makes me feel things. feedback welcome as always



chlorine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5vZNTnT1QE

breath you in

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnSd04kLt74

Digging: Pistol Annies - Interstate Gospel

Curse.
October 17th 2016


8057 Comments


This album is really good

dmp3131
October 17th 2016


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Singles were sick, checking this out now.

thomasdavidge
October 17th 2016


103 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I have been digging this album so hard. Especially Rain On Me & Home Is, there isn't a song I don't like. Great review, says everything that I'd love to be able to say. Such a fucking good album. Would definitely see them if they toured near me.

Artuma
October 17th 2016


29871 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

excellent review as per usual but i'm not feeling this album at all. it's actually a step down from the last one for me

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 17th 2016


23864 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

cheers everyone. album's so good, my review doesn't really do it justice - just listen to it!



hey curse, good to see you around these parts!



and thx Thomas/Artuma.



@Art, ah that's too bad. Did you pay attention to the lyrics because that was a huge selling point for me. But I also think it's more interesting musically than their last album

Artuma
October 17th 2016


29871 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah the lyrics are pretty good but idk musically this does next to nothing to me, the last album sounded more 'genuine' imo

MarsKid
October 17th 2016


7309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I remember liking their last album, but it wasn't anything stellar.



"Chlorine" was actually a hell of a lot more memorable for me than that whole album, so I'm actually interested to see where this goes.

Digging: Napoleon - Epiphany

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 17th 2016


23864 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

fair enough art :]



I think breath you in gets better every time I hear it

Artuma
October 17th 2016


29871 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i can see why you'd dig this though atari :]



miracle is a great little song but the rest i wasn't too much into

schoonda
October 17th 2016


1427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really dug their EP when it released however Mend, Move On just felt so samey and I just felt like the songs bled into each other a bit too much, whereas the band is much more dynamic here and I feel there's quite a few standout moments here. Chlorine has to be one of the catchiest songs I've heard all year.

Digging: colourblind - Move Like You

Mordecai.
October 17th 2016


8372 Comments


Great to see this getting reviewed here - one of Australia's best young punk bands for sure. Lyrics and vocals are particularly stellar, but I think their instrumentation still has plenty of room for growth.

Good review.

Snake.
October 17th 2016


21067 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

mend move on was better

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 17th 2016


23864 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

I KNOW I HAD YOU ALL CONNNCCEEEERNED

BUT I'VE CHANGED NOW, I'M BEETTTEERRRR



(they both rule)



24gadjet
October 17th 2016


271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

These blokes are hometown heroes where I'm from and its dope to see them getting love, ill still jam Mend, Move On forever but the variation in this is nice, good to see them evolving.

MarsKid
October 17th 2016


7309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Mend, Move On blended way too much for me. I honestly like the changes thus far.

Mordecai.
October 17th 2016


8372 Comments


"I still feel so fucking lost when I hear Blink on the radio".

My fav Trophy Eyes lyric.

Danred97
October 17th 2016


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

some of the clean vocal parts on Chlorine remind me of Owl City oddly enough. This is sounding pretty good so far. The singles sounded surprisingly good, considering their debut was boring as hell.

mazalthan
October 17th 2016


87 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm surprised by how much this album immediately grabbed me. Always knew this band was pretty tight, but this record is really something special. Every song is captivating in its own right, without ever feeling like they are dragging, or overstaying their welcome.



Also, great review. You did such a good job of summarizing everything I find so intriguing about this album.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
October 18th 2016


23964 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

damn i really need to listen to this.



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