Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: Trophy Scars - Never Born, Never Dead

When first listening to Trophy Scars fresh summer EP, Never Born, Never Dead, I found myself making strange connections between the music and the classic Mafioso film The Godfather. There was a cinematic entrancement about the way the music flowed and how the writing climaxed just at the right moment like a true theatrical masterpiece. Lead man Jerry Jones’ olive oil voice and New Jersey charm conjured images of the wedding scene at the beginning of Coppola’s film when Johnny Fontane sang to a group of swooning Italians, all the while the Don was peering through the window of his empirical perch, making deals to kill men and redeem tragedies. It was the contrast between the sophisticated and traditional Italian life on the outside, and the brutal reality of the business within the house that made the Corleone family truly intimidating – artists of deceit and trickery. That same style of a fresh shine on the exterior, but with a savage interior, was brilliantly utilized on Never Born, Never Dead as it tells stories of love and death; vengeance and cruelty.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Review: Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man

For all intents and purposes, Andrew Jackson Jihad should not be taken seriously. Their music is sporadic and stripped down, their writing blunt and estranged, and lead man Sean Bonette’s singing is, at best, unbearably whiny. With all of these elements that should make for a disaster, why on Earth is the final product so enamoring? For the average music listener, Andrew Jackson Jihad’s freshest release, Knife Man, might very well be the worst piece of music in existence. But beneath the seemingly dreadful exterior features, there lies a brutal honesty and a mutual understanding between writer and listener that latches onto those who can catch onto it. Songs like track six, “Distance”, which begins with a vulgar display of candid shamelessness, show a side to this punk-folk group that most bands are terrified of revealing – a human side with a beating heart and steaming emotions.