Album Review: Trouper – All Things Are Shadow
I’m a bit behind on my new music discoveries as of late. With moving and overall adulting, I just haven’t had the time that I used to to fall down the internet rabbit hole and discovering new bands left and right. Thankfully I’m lucky enough that sometimes I just happen to have new music thrown at me rather than me having to seek it out. That’s how I discovered Mansfield, Ohio trio Trouper who just so happened to have released their first full lengh LP, All Things Shadow.
The album opens perfectly with the anthemic “I Still Want You, I Still Need You.” The opening chimes remind me a bit of the music from Brick (killer soundtrack for a great movie if you weren’t already aware) which might be why I was drawn in so quickly. The introduction builds nicely into a roaring guitar riff that sounds like it would fill an arena nicely. The track has a bit of an electronic vibe to it which would usually have me skipping on to the next track. Instead I find myself entranced as the guitars begin to cascade into some trippy synths about half way through the track.
Trouper handles mixing electronica sounds into their crisp rock style which creates a wonderfully layered atmosphere for the listener to get lost in. “Phorcys” is a perfect example of this with it’s hypnotic beat pulsing under glitchy static samples and dark synths. The landscape created here is as vast as the seas of the Greek God the song is named for. “Phorcys” is so well layered that it’ll take you multiple listens to truly explore it’s depths which is probably why it’s my favorite track on the album.
While more upbeat than “Phorchys,” “Stiller” is just as intricately crafted. The sound here is big and once again calls to mind images of the sea. The track is set up nicely by the previous song, a spoken word track that tells the story of “The Life Saving Station.” The subtle yet upbeat sound has a bit of a The Postal Service vibe to it which bleeds nicely into the bright guitars that open “Stiller.” The song is Trouper’s attempt at true arena rock and I have to say they do a pretty good job. Just the thought of a crowd singing the chorus back at the band at the top of their lungs gives me goosebumps and has me itching to see Trouper live ASAP.
For a first full length, Trouper manages to put together an impressive little rock album with All Things Are Shadow. The world that the trio manages to create in the album’s ten songs is one that has no bounds and will have you stumbling upon new things with every listen. I look forward to continuing to explore Trouper’s soundscape and can’t wait for the next adventure that the band will take me on.