Record Review: The Trews

by | May 1, 2011 | Reviews

The Trews
Hope & Ruin
Toronto, ON

“Canadian rockers craft their latest masterpiece”

Hope & Ruin is the culmination of a decade’s worth of grit, road-wear and hard rock bombast. The Trews deliver something sorely missing in today’s rock landscape – a complete album. With the iTunes Singles Chart dictating the flavor of the month, it’s wholly refreshing to hear a record so well conceived from front to back.

The track list opens with the anthemic “Misery Loves Company,” kicking things off with Taylor Hawkins-like drums, before giving way to the band’s signature blend of hooky choruses and tight vocal harmonies. Not to compare the two, but harmonies this precise are typically reserved for Def Leppard LPs.

Immediately, the band takes advantage of another musical notion slowly disappearing from modern rock – dynamics. “One by One” slows things down, allowing the album to breathe, while giving us a glimpse of the unplugged beauty the group is more than capable of. For further proof, check out their 2009 acoustic album. It’s numbers like “One by One, “People of the Deer” and the equally hard rocking title track that display the keen melodic sensibilities The Trews have mastered over the past 10 years.

Special note must also be made of the production quality. The drums, especially, fill the room with a presence that that contemporary rock albums lack due to over compression and a cold, digital “thinness.” These are what drums and guitars are supposed to sound like – played by real people, in real locations, through real amps. Toss some late-’70s Van Halen on the turntable, and you’ll know what we’re talking about. (Bumstead Productions)

Produced by Gord Sinclair and John-Angus MacDonald // Mixed by Mike Fraser // Recorded at Bathouse Studios in Kingston, ON