Sometimes the old cliché rings true – you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Such is the case with a band like The Fall of Troy, Washington’s ground-breaking progressive math-core, post-hardcore outfit.
The first thing to note is that The Fall of Troy are a trio. Let that sink in whilst you listen to this album, their first in seven years. Just have a good old think about that whilst what sounds like five million tiny guitar riffs, syncopated rhythms, angular vocals and pulsating, arpeggiated basslines needle into your mind. Three men have made this bloody racket. It should not be physically possible. It’s the kind of hellish, fantastic chaos that young-blood UK bands like Marmozets, Poly-Math and Heck have recently dabbled with to impressive effect, but to hear The Fall of Troy in full flow is to remember that it takes a very special kind of talent to really control and sculpt this seeming insanity into a listenable record.
Ok has been described by the band as a gift to their fans, and that might possibly be the most succinct review of this record it’s actually possible to give. A reinvigorated and revitalised dynamism rings true throughout this album and practically burns with passion – time apart has suited the trio very well indeed. It’s evident in the sprawling, intensely jarring instrumental freak-outs; the spidery and frantic lead guitar lines that spatter themselves across the scattergun drumming; and it’s most evident in the guttural, pleading yelps of front man Thomas Erak. They’re littered throughout the record and inject a brutal, bleeding, human honesty into proceedings that stops things from getting just a little bit too self-indulgent.
Playing the music they do, all of 'the rules' say that The Fall of Troy should not be able to make a melodic, accessible record. Well, rules are there for breaking anyway right? Here’s a band that certainly seem to thrive on such a notion. ‘Suck-o-Matic’ is maybe as close to a single as they get on this album, edging towards the less noodle-y side of Coheed & Cambria and climaxing in a crushing finale that brings to mind all the best bits of Rival Schools and Biffy Clyro.
Elsewhere, ‘Auto Repeater’ begins with an experiment in Eighties synths that continues on closing track ‘Your Loss’ – it’s a sound which suits them and is vaguely reminiscent of the kind of strange, wonderful electronica that permeates some of Three Trapped Tigers and 65daysofstatic’s more glitchy attempts.
In a time where the long-reaching tentacles of capitalism sometimes seem to have sunk their hooks into every possible vestige of all that’s good and pure about the music we love, a surprise pay-what-you-want record from a band as vital, as visceral and as creatively unbridled as The Fall of Troy is a ray of hope in an increasingly bewildering world.
Oh and I nearly forgot to mention, as if one new album wasn’t enough for rabid fans, the band have also revealed a special reworked rendition of the album OK#2 set for release on 23rd September, because, in their own words 'more art is always better, we think' - music to my ears, gentlemen.
To whomever we’re supposed to thank for such things these days in this merciless world; thank you. Thank you for bringing The Fall of Troy back to life. They might just save what’s left of us.
9Jamie Otsa's Score