New Jersey post-hardcore outfit Trophy Scars have a lot of battle wounds to share with a knack for taking those wounds to an elevated effort and into a project that succumbs to lot of pressure and drive to succeed.
What comes out of this ethic is Holy Vacant, an album that stems from a 35-page screenplay treatment from vocalist Jerry Jones. There is a lot of diversity to the band that reminds me a little of Manic Street Preacher’s Holy Bible than the extremities of their hardcore days. It does not mean they have long abandoned the style. “Vertigo” is a two-minute romp that keeps the faith of a more aggressive Trophy Scars.
Tropny Scars – Archangel
However, much of this album moves far beyond what you could conceptualize this band to accomplish. Some of it is immediately fascinating, others more abstract. And not that it’s a bad thing. I can see potential out of “Archangel,” even though it’s not as accessible as others.
“Crystallophobia” is as glorious as any Braid song, and “Chicago Typewriter” is later day Faith No More no matter how you look at it. It’s odd to be thrown off guard with the Hendrix-saturated “Hagiophobia” and then experiencing a Jesus Lizard power crunch on “Burning Mirror.” At first the songs feel more like a contrast than a compliment, but then I think of people like Barry Adamson and how he morphs an album into whatever song form he feels like. And it works!
I enjoy Holy Vacant because of its challenge. I cannot say I like everything about this album, but I do enjoy its fervor and persistence. Because of that, I feel like I will enjoy this album to the fullest for the construct it displays.
There is enough intrigue in their time signatures to make you interested. I want to know more, but I need time to build a relationship with Holy Vacant. Knowing that, it is the pinnings for an album with the potential for longevity.