Engine Summer is a three-piece out of Chicago and Trophy Kids is a ripper of a record.
I almost want that to be the review. The songs are short, and only tell you what you need to know, so that would be fair enough as a review then right?
But you don’t know what you’re about to get when you hear this. And I guess you want to know something.
Well, Trophy Kids bristles with a pop-punk energy but doesn’t have anything as reductive as “pop-punk” about it. Instead it’s the angular lines of Pavement and more recently Parquet Courts.
It’s also got guitars that scream out – nice lead lines and the right kind of shouty-scream vocals that sit out in front of the push/pull chug of the rhythm section.
We get an 80-second “Intro” track to pop us right into the world of Summer Engine – and then with Jezebel the summer-sun guitar-party continues. Catchy, hooky, groovy – it’s all at once a throwback to the 1990s and then to the 1960s garage-rock that informed some of the pre- and post-grunge, nearly twee offerings.
End of the Road and the title track have a post-punk energy to them – early Talking Heads and Gang of Four and XTC would be antecedents. But this has the rawness of the CBGBs scene rather than the playfulness (but perfection) of, say, Field Music.
Rather Choke feels like a collaboration – however unlikely – between the Pixies and Tito & Tarantula; the herky-jerky vocals of the former, the slinky bar-room groove of the latter.
Shit this is good. Ideas bouncing out and through every song. It’s been on high rotate here over the last few months. And long may it continue. And, as I was saying, Engine Summer is a three-piece out of Chicago and Trophy Kids is a ripper of a record. I’m already looking forward to hearing more from them. And yet there’s so much life left in this one of course…
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