It would have been a backwards step for Trophy Eyes to make Chemical Miracle 2.0. Yes, the hugely successful sophomore album from the Sydney punks might go down as a generation-defining release, but a remake doesn’t show progression, and calls of the band ‘selling out’ on their latest effort are premature and mostly unfounded.
The American Dream still holds a torch to its predecessor, demonstrated by the sugar-sweet pop-punk Friday Forever and the instantly catchy sing-along Something Bigger Than This in particular. It also features huge highs that will become crowd favourites live: lead single You Can Count On Me, Lavender Bay and epic album closer Call It A Feeling will lead that charge, but TAD is an album of contrasts; the ecstatic highs and long, emotional comedowns (which echo frontman John Floreani’s mental demons) are what define this album.
Its strongest moments are in its lowest points: A Cotton Candy Sky is an ominous warning, the crescendo of strings in Broken is an inspired touch, and penultimate track A Symphony Of Crickets is a crucial moment for the record: “I would have killed myself by now if not for you/ I know you hate it when I say it, but it’s true” Floreani sings – a stunning confession. It’s in these moments that I can’t help but compare the singer’s performance to Gang Of Youths’ Dave Le’aupepe – they both create epic spells of grandeur out of otherwise inconsequential, passing instants.
Delivering his usually emotionally-heavy lyrics with a knack for the dramatic, you find yourself hanging off every word Floreani sings, as he copes with the exquisite burdens of life, love, crippling fame, and an insatiable need for more of it all.
The American Dream is out August 3 via Hopeless/UNIFIED.
Read our interview with frontman John Floreani.
Keep up with the latest Australian release dates for music.