12 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At once ambitious, abrasive, and weirdly dazzling, Trophy Scars’ fifth album is the New Jersey–rooted band’s most accomplished work to date. In the tradition of ‘70s prog-rock classics like Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Holy Vacants follows the twisted story line of two tormented lovers bound together by the blood of angels. Frontman Jerry Jones keeps this bizarrely compelling scenario on track as the band negotiate angular rhythms and churning interludes that fuse hardcore mania with theatrical sophistication. Woozy rhythms and volleys of assaultive guitar riffage are bolstered by wailing choir vocals and billowing strings. Jones gasps, snarls, and howls his way through tracks like “Qeres,” “Hagiophobia,” and “Event City, Vacant” with a fiendish intensity that suggests Perry Farrell channeling Howlin’ Wolf. He takes on a lounge lizard’s suavity on “Archangel,” bares his fangs with death metal fury on “Burning Mirror,” and wraps himself in morbidly bluesy tones on “Gutted.” Trophy Scars play throughout with barbed-edged precision.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At once ambitious, abrasive, and weirdly dazzling, Trophy Scars’ fifth album is the New Jersey–rooted band’s most accomplished work to date. In the tradition of ‘70s prog-rock classics like Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Holy Vacants follows the twisted story line of two tormented lovers bound together by the blood of angels. Frontman Jerry Jones keeps this bizarrely compelling scenario on track as the band negotiate angular rhythms and churning interludes that fuse hardcore mania with theatrical sophistication. Woozy rhythms and volleys of assaultive guitar riffage are bolstered by wailing choir vocals and billowing strings. Jones gasps, snarls, and howls his way through tracks like “Qeres,” “Hagiophobia,” and “Event City, Vacant” with a fiendish intensity that suggests Perry Farrell channeling Howlin’ Wolf. He takes on a lounge lizard’s suavity on “Archangel,” bares his fangs with death metal fury on “Burning Mirror,” and wraps himself in morbidly bluesy tones on “Gutted.” Trophy Scars play throughout with barbed-edged precision.

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