Over their past couple of albums, the pop-punk quintet, Trophy Eyes has been quite easy to group in with a smaller section of emo/pop-punk acts like Basement, Trash Boat, and Boston Manor. With the latest album in their discography, The American Dream (Hopeless Records), however, the band move on with some new influences and a new-found maturity in their lyrics. Whilst pop-punk as a genre on whole has been mostly known for the use of angsty/teen themes in their material, Trophy Eyes has moved onto a more mature way of writing about mental health, band life, etc. The most notable change in the act’s third album is the definite improvement in singer, John Floreani who adopts a more of a baritone sound to his voice during the majority of the main verses, contrasting fantastically against his more well-known tone in choruses, it feels like Floreani takes influences from earlier big alternative rock bands like U2 to show off more range and flow in his material.
Although not following a fully-fledged story, The American Dream does follow a narrative more in line with what the album’s name suggests. The first section of the album being loud, bright and cheerful, and from there start to deteriorate, where more slow, sombre songs start to pop up, especially in ‘A Cotton Candy Sky’ and ‘Broken’. Throughout these sadder songs, not once does it seem angsty or childish, instead they take on more of a raw emotional feel. A key example of this is in the track ‘Tip Toe’ which will no doubt have entire venues filled with crying faces and swaying arms. As mentioned earlier, this clearly reflects on both The American Dream not living up to the ambition and happiness indicated at the start of the album.
The American Dream is the step in the right direction for Trophy Eyes to stand out massively in their scene of bands and even to stand out in pop-punk on whole. The increased level of maturity in the lyricism and the vocal technique show that the quintet is willing to grow and evolve their sound. Trophy Eyes are one to definitely look out for when they release their next album, which if they carry on with this path, could be a genre-defining release.