Trophy Jump are a band we’ve been keeping a keen eye on since discovering their album Depression Club in 2018. Since then, we’ve really enjoyed the band’s progression with each subsequent release. In February the band released their second album, feels, on JeboTon (Croatia), Horn & Hoof Records (UK), We’re Trying Records (US) and Nasty Cut Records (EU). I listened to it immediately but then life got in the way and that’s delayed my review/love letter to the band until now! Let’s get on with it.
Feels begins with It’s Not A Race!!! This track serves as an introduction for the album. Beginning with some phone feedback before we get some electronic music along with Antun Aleksa’s recognisable vocals. During the forty-eight seconds, Antun sings about taking your time with whatever you’re doing in life. This then leads into the first proper song on feels – Business Trip. Starting with some building guitars and a simple drum beat, Antun’s vocals soar during this opening section. The song is about quitting your job that you hate and going out and experiencing life. Something I’m sure that most of us wish we had the courage to do. Maybe this song will give you the encouragement to do so. When I first listened to the third song, Neon Light, there was a very familiar voice coming through my speakers. The track features the brilliant Phil Georgoulopoulos of our friends Burnt Tapes on guest vocals. Starting out in a sombre fashion, the song has an element of Alkaline Trio to it in sound as well as the way they tell a story. It’s one of those times where you can get a sense of what the music video would look like just from the lyrics. The track is about the come down you often get after a good night out and that horrible feeling of depression that can come from that. Phil’s vocals add some real emotion to the song. I hope that when they play Bristol Booze together in May Phil joins the band on stage to provide vocals.
Leather Couch is a song that Trophy Jump originally released as a single back in 2019. I’m very glad that they decided to put it on the album as, at the time, I stated that I think it’s the best song they had written to date. I’ve listened to the song so much, whenever that opening guitar riff comes in I get excited. It’s a familiar feeling when I hear the opening of Gainesville Rock City by Less Than Jake. I get pumped. I’m a big fan of gang vocals and harmonies and Leather Couch is chock full of them. This works especially well as the song is about friendship, those beautiful times of doing nothing and having the best time in the process. This feels like a show closer. Next is I Don’t Wanna Live In A Fitness Ad. After a short audio clip featuring a phone call between two chaps talking about going for a run, the song kicks in. There’s a paunchiness to things that changes things up a bit. The song is a fun one about not wanting to exercise and enjoying the things that are bad for you. Probably not something I would recommend but, also, life is too short so sometimes you have to go nuts. The highlight for me is the chorus and the gang vocals which I imagine getting a great reaction. The sixth song is titled Brkn Values. Trophy Jump really bring the pace down here with an introduction that will get your head banging. This is Trophy Jump at perhaps their moodiest and I feel like they have perhaps taken inspiration from UK legends Apologies, I Have None with the atmospheric sound they have going on. Brkn Values takes digs at musicians who sell out, lose the passion for their music and keep recycling the same old stuff to cash in on their fans. I’m sure everyone reading this will have experienced frustration at how the mainstream ignores a band we love and feel like should be huge for a safe and risk-free choice who sold their souls many moons ago.
Interdimensional Cable 420 acts as a short interlude that leads into the eighth song FOMO. FOMO brings the mood back up with a fast and upbeat song about not knowing how to be by yourself and always wanting to be out doing things with friends. Fear Of Missing Out is a real thing that people can experience and I’m glad to see Trophy Jump write a song about it. Once again there are plenty of moments to sing-along with the band, this gives the track a cathartic feeling, especially to anyone who does suffer with FOMO. Hugs And Drugs was the first single released in the build up to the album’s release and it was the very best choice. I think this is the best Trophy Jump song to date. The chorus is absolutely huge here as the band belt out “well I guess that it kinda sucks, that the only love we ever had, was hugs on drugs.” The track is about using drugs, or I guess alcohol, as a way to get over your shyness and how friendships can feel empty because of this. This is not something I can really relate to as I’ve always been sober but I’m sure I know plenty of people who will. I look forward to the day I can be surrounded by friends, arms locked and shouting this back at the band. It seems like that will be special. The penultimate track is Beer Pressure. Once again, this is a hard one for me to relate to as I don’t drink but it’s about the pressure to continue consuming alcohol to keep up with your friends even if you’re not sure that you want to. I really enjoyed the switches in melody and how the band effortlessly switches between pop and skate punk throughout the track. Finally we have Sharing Is Scary. This is an epic acoustic track to close things off. I enjoyed the stripped back approach to the song, it makes it feel more intimate and there is an element of campfire punk rock about it, particularly in the final moments. The track is about exactly what the title suggests, sharing your feelings with anyone and the fear that that brings. Something every human struggles with at some point but it’s important and healthy to talk about your feelings and I’d encourage everyone to take the brave steps to do it.
Trophy Jump always take things to another level with every release and they’ve continued to do that on feels. If you’re a fan of melodic pop punk with raspy and gruff vocals and great lyricism then definitely do not sleep on Trophy Jump! They will be in the UK in the middle of June. Get out to a show and support them.
This review was written by Colin Clark.