Sound — 9
The Trews once again have come out with an album that will blow your mind. Their combination of hard rock sounds and hard hitting beats comes as no surprise to anyone who's listened to any of their past records. This offering also indicates a maturing sound, and a band that are more open to experimentation. They try some new things on this album: acoustic driven songs like Will You Wash Away, and songs with sounds from their home on the East Coast that have a Great Big Sea sound to them like Can't Stop Laughing. All in all, their experimentation doesn't take away from their already highly developed hard-rock style of music, and only serves to add to their impressive list of influences, and hopefully it's well received.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics appear at times deep, at times straight forward and light. This album contains many messages that you may miss if you don't read the liner-notes, an example being the song Paranoid Freak's lyric: "is this freedom of information? / or is this mass intimidation?" Which has an almost rebellious tone to it, questioning the government of today, within one hell of a good rock song. Their lead singer Colin MacDonald once again brought his hard-hitting vocals to the table for this album, but also softens the tone with the song Man Of Two Minds, where he sounds almost like a Country singer. The lyrics of this song are deeply saddening, and this song comes off as a ballad from a troubadour with a broken heart. Their lyrics haven't lost the blunt sincerity they had from other albums, but they've grown more refined, and fraught with double-meaning, self-satire, and political commentary. They're indicative of a band who's members are greatly maturing, and it's helped this album become my favorite offering from The Trews.
Overall Impression — 8
This album at times sounds a bit like Jet, with the straight-up hard rock guitar-driven tones from Hold Me In Your Arms, and Dark Highway. But at the same time, it's able to make deep political commentary that's almost Neil Young-like, in songs like Gun Control, bluntly asking the question every Liberal politician wants to ask but can't: "Why oh why do they second / guess gun control?" This album is thoroughly enjoyable, and really doesn't have any weak spots. I personally was not a fan of The Trews, having bought their other albums and actually being disappointed in them. This album is a much more consistently strong offering, and has a bit of everything for everyone. Happy Listening.