Trophy Scars - Hospital Music For the Aesthetics of Language (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Trophy Scars

Hospital Music For the Aesthetics of Language (2004)



If you're going to even mention The Beatles in your press release, you damn well better be able to back it up. Although Trophy Scars sound nothing like five prominent godfathers of pop music, they indeed back it up, and then some.

This band takes the softest elements of early-90s screamo, Bright Eyes's half-drunken, melancholic ramblings, the shrieks and "ba da da da"s coming from an unexpected speaker of any Blood Brothers song, and spin them in a fucking blender like they were Julia Child. If you're requesting a genre, post-hardcore seems to be the best fit - but it would be unfair to both the band and the genre. Call it whatever you want, call it collect for all I care - I'm calling it "the art of hype sucking me in like a black hole."

Looking for verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus out? Forget it; take your search elsewhere. These songs know no structure. "There Are Ghosts" is a minute-long, piano-key dominated intro that sounds exactly like Conor Oberst is at the helms of, until towards the end when a confession of the ghouls' presence are subsequently acted out by literal screams of "there're ghosts!". As does every track together, it seamlessly flows into "Designed Like Dice (Crickets in Tune)," with a snappy, staccato snare and a slight alliteration use of the letter 's.' Textured, cake-layered shouts capture the mood throughout the entire length of the eclectic EP. Certain things happen that are much less random than they sound. Three and a half minutes into "...And That's Where They Found My Body," a jazzy, lounge-styled keyboard sneaks in under the screams, but it's just plain groovy at that one point.

The difference between this and four and a half stars is marginal, a difference that will likely be made up by the inevitable full-length. How they're still unsigned is beyond me.

Highly recommended.

"Designed Like Dice (Crickets in Tune)"
"Sleep Little Nemo -- the Kidnapping"