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Album Review: Crooked Trees by Trails

Trails released their debut album Crooked Trees on the 22nd September. It’s a stunning introduction to the band, angular punk mixed with a mash of modern Alt Rock. Imagine a mash of Million Dead, Pulled Apart By Horses, Lonely The Brave and Twin Atlantic. It comes out in an exhilarating mix of catchy rock songs with an occasional post hardcore aggression.

At the beginning of 2013 we released our second EP ‘Signs’ – a more brash and hardcore infused follow up to our self-titled debut” explain the band of their new release “We decided it was the opportune time to start work on our first ever full length, and set ourselves the challenge of writing and recording it all within the space of 12 months.”

Those twelve months were put excellent use. Crooked Trees is a stunning debut. ‘Forever Trees’ serves up some raw vocals backed by a wall of churning guitars and driving drumming. ‘Echoes Of Eternity’ goes into a post hardcore territory that Million Dead often touched on but never quite managed to execute. The vocals are excellent and end up sounding catchy without having a truly solid hook. It’s a track that many fans of the mid 2000s UK post hardcore will be able to relate to and as such it stands out as being one of the strongest tracks on the album.

‘Capgras Delusion’ delivers some glorious hooks and with the bomb blast of guitars the track develops into the catchiness song on the album, but the real highlight comes in the quieter moments when the band jam out some post rock-esque intricate riffs. ‘Egos At The Door’ has all the pop hooks with crunching guitars you’d expect from an inform Funeral For A Friend, while ‘Captain Hindsight’ goes down the more traditional alt rock route. The differing styles makes Crooked Trees a wonderfully captivating listen, you’re never quite sure what’s coming up next. Each style is as exhilarating as the next.

‘Newsflash Brainiac, Christ Was Jewish’ has a brilliant Bloc Party style intro before building into a pop rock song that any of the band’s contemporaries could be proud off. ‘Panthro’ is the second standout track with every part of its essence being ridiculously catchy. You’ll chanting along by the end. ‘Export Design Import Creation’ is the archetypical album closer, encapsulating the feel of the album within 5 glorious minutes.

The influences throughout Crooked Trees are pretty obvious, but that doesn’t detract from what is an outstanding debut. Expect to hear a lot more from Trails, their popularity will only blossom.

AD Rating 8.5/10

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