The Trews: "Hope & Ruin" CD Review (The Trews Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Trews: "Hope & Ruin" CD Review (The Trews Records)

DOWNLOAD: The Trews - "One By One"

The Trews: 'Hope & Ruin' CD Review (The Trews Records) Earlier this month, Toronto roots-rock band The Trews released their fourth studio disc, Hope & Ruin, on The Trews Records. While the band hasn't yet gotten a solid foothold into the US market, they have had ten "Top-10" singles in Canada, earned two gold records and toured with a variety of bands ranging from Guns N' Roses to Robert Plant. I remember the band playing Mercury Lounge a few times over the last couple years but I never caught any of their shows so Hope & Ruin is my first exposure to their music.

The Trews seem to garner a number of comparisons to the band Train but, as the only song I know by Train is the utterly deplorable "Hey Soul Sister", I think a more valid comparison is one of the 90's "modern rock" bands like Hootie and the Blowfish or Matchbox 20. The Trews' music combines Colin MacDonald's soulful lead vocals with rich vocal harmonies that are layered on top of hook-laden melodic pop tunes and rockers. According to Colin, "We were always big fans of CCR and REM and stuff, and those influences had to come out sooner or later. At one point we wanted to take everything off the record that sounded remotely heavy. We wanted to make a total roots rock album."

This new disc was written and recorded in The Tragically Hip's Bathhouse studios in a collaborative and organic process that the band describes as taking them back to their early days. Guitarist John-Angus MacDonald said "We didn't want to have everything super hashed-out ahead of time.we were just working, making music that we wanted.. and not just beat[ing] the old formula to death."

A number of songs have introspective lyrical themes about love, loss and heartbreak. The first single from this release is a pop-rocker, "Hope & Ruin", about the ups and downs of life.

While my musical taste leans more toward the rockers ("The World I Know", "Misery Loves Company" and "People of the Deer"), the mellower tracks were memorable as well.

The Trews will be touring the U.S. this Spring.

The Trews