Trophy Eyes
Suicide and Sunshine


3.3
great

Review

by jesper STAFF
June 23rd, 2023 | 43 replies


Release Date: 06/23/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: we're so(rta) back

Part of me wishes Suicide and Sunshine just… sucked. It's the selfish part of me that knows I have to write about the record. It would've been so easy to review an album full of "OMW"s and "My Inheritance"s; middling cuts that would have allowed me to bash 2018’s The American Dream (“at least they’re not as bad as most of that album!”) while questioning John Floreani’s decision to stray from his usual (excellent) vocal style in favour of unconvincing r&b-tinged performances (another victim of the Bad Omens-effect?). Hell, it would’ve been so damn easy to review an album full of “People Like You”s and “Sydney”s: I could’ve complimented Trophy Eyes for their attempts to recapture some edge while acknowledging that this edge was never what made 2016’s Chemical Miracle such a phenomenal album (it was the e-word and the s-word (emotion and songwriting (you get me?))).

But alas, and thankfully, Suicide and Sunshine is neither of those albums. It sure does include these aforementioned tracks - and they’re mid as hell - but as a whole, it’s much more, and muchish better. Firstly, as the band have indicated that this record was written as a swan song of sorts, it embodies a chance to do anything and everything they wanted to do before calling it quits. While this breakup may not come to fruition after all, it does afford Suicide and Sunshine a sense of freedom and finality. This freedom (and lack of pressure to write a hit for da kids) allows for a near-total lack of atrocious moments a la “thanks to everyone that bought tickets to my shows / I put all the money that you spent right up my nose” and avoids an overreliance on atrocious gang vocals (yay!), but also means that otherwise excellent bangers like “Blue Eyed Boy” come equipped with a totally unnecessary and highly off-putting protruding synth melody (nay :/).

Secondly, and most importantly, the sense of finality that underscores a decent chunk of Suicide and Sunshine manages to construct two of Trophy Eyes’ very best songs amidst the somewhat admirable mess. The heart-wrenching ‘Sean’, a tribute to the late Sean Kennedy, portrays the band at their most vulnerable. It not merely encompasses the most raw and genuine performance by Floreani, but also his most poignant writing - rather than hiding behind the beautiful metaphors of Chemical Miracle, the song is littered with blunt desperation and conveys the suffocating properties of loss. The subsequent “What Hurts the Most” feels like an antithesis of sorts, yet slots in perfectly after the gut-punch of “Sean”. By packaging a different flavour of grief in a simple, straightforward indie rock cut, the track manages to be the relief the tracklist needs - and also puts forth the best Trophy Eyes chorus since “Breathe You In”.

…and yet, this truly phenomenal stretch is part of an album that is as joy-inspiring (Trophy Eyes don’t suck anymore!) as it is disappointing (Trophy Eyes don’t suck anymore but they’re not as good as they probably should be). It’s an album that takes its title a little too literally: there’s happy moments, there’s sad moments, and they rarely inform one another or feel cohesive. Suicide and Sunshine could be the band’s last album, and that would be fine with me. Simultaneously, I might just root for the continued existence of Trophy Eyes: while the selfish part of me wishes this album sucked, the even more selfish part of me wishes this album ruled. They may never write another excellent album, but songs like “What Hurts the Most” are too damn good for the world to miss out on.




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user ratings (73)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
JesperL
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2023


5508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

i am tired goodnight x

Pikazilla
June 23rd 2023


30045 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

night babe

onionbubs
June 23rd 2023


21280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fantastic and spot on review. agree this album sits in that frustrating middle ground between being a lot better than i expected but still clearly not as good as it could be but ill take it



kills bridge is prob the best moment of the album for me which is a lil frustrating bc it was a single lol but oh well

JayEnder
June 23rd 2023


20167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review Jespy, somewhat disagree with the rating though. Three listens in and it's no Chemical Miracle that's for sure, but it holds up as a strong 2nd place.



If Sean doesn't strike a chord with you then I fear you may be dead inside. What an absolute gut wrencher. Singles are all excellent too, but there are a few tracks here that definitely should have been left on the cutting room floor (Runaway Come Home, OMW, Sweet Soft Sound) however they do sound a bit better in context. Wrestling between a 3.5 and a 4 for this one.

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 23rd 2023


21035 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

We see eye to eye on this one Jespy, although perhaps I'm little less sold. It's definitely a mess and doesn't have a shred of cohesion to it, most likely owing to the band just throwing whatever at the wall. "Sean" is amazing but everything surrounding it rarely feels in sync, and the entire ending stretch of this just felt so plain and skippable.

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 23rd 2023


21035 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

Perhaps adding to my frustration is that, to your point, a better album is buried in here. But lawd it requires some chiseling to coax it out.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2023


2407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album just like their last one

Butkuiss
June 23rd 2023


7224 Comments


I am very briefly in the video for People Like You lmfao 👀

JayEnder
June 24th 2023


20167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Blue Eyed Boy still the definitive banger here

alamo
June 24th 2023


5597 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

do i love this? no



but do i hate this? kinda

alamo
June 24th 2023


5597 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sean is a great song though

Pikazilla
June 24th 2023


30045 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

band would've been infinitely better with a different vocalist imo

SlothcoreSam
June 24th 2023


6237 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Band is trying to hard to please different fanbases, and ultimately muddling up the cohesiveness of the album. Would have loved an aggressive, raw emotive album, where "Sean" was the climax.

JayEnder
June 24th 2023


20167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah this album needed more aggression, would've loved a ripper like Rain on Me or May 24.

veninblazer
June 24th 2023


16839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album

SlothcoreSam
June 24th 2023


6237 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

People Like You, has massive Frank Turner/Enter Shikari Vibes

InFiction
June 24th 2023


3995 Comments


Yeah I enjoyed this quite a bit more than I was expecting, but agree there were a few tracks that could have been left out to make it flow a bit better. Sean stopped me in my tracks on first listen but was surprised it wasn’t the closer. Still pretty taken on first listen.

JayEnder
June 24th 2023


20167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Can't believe I'm about to say this, but Sean might be their crowning achievement as a band. That song hits the feelios even harder than Chlorine.

iChuckles
June 24th 2023


694 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn bro beat me to it. Excellent write up, love this record.

laterenima
June 24th 2023


261 Comments


Newy brahhh



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