April 16, 2021

Trope is a new alt-rock band from Hollywood in California that was formed in 2016 and the musicians have spent the time since then fine tuning the songs and music that has become their debut album and it is most obvious that it has been time very well spent. Some albums benefit from raw passion and emotion to carry the music but Trope has elected to follow the Pink Floyd template to ensure that everything is absolutely perfect with engineering and production standards set equally as high. For sure, Trope verge into progressive rock territory and there are moments that seem to be inspired by Pink Floyd but it mainly operates in alt-rock territory with a definite A Perfect Circle vibe and a glorious vocal delivery from Diana Studenberg that is somewhere between Amy Lee (Evanescence) and the delightful Tori Amos. Indeed, Studenberg is the only musician mentioned in the publicity accompanying the promo so it can only be assumed that the rest of the band are publicity shy and are happy for Studenberg to garner the accolades which, to be fair, she does deserve. 

Much is made of the fact that the album is built upon odd-time signatures and polyrhythm’s which, apparently, is the simultaneous use of two or more rhythms that are not readily perceived as deriving from one another which means absolutely nothing to me! I am not a musician and do not understand the technicalities so purely judge on whether I like the music or not and I do like it, very much so. It is obvious that something quite clever and smart is happening and I am happy to leave it at that. It also seems quite obvious that this is an intellectual band as the album title is a word I was unaware of and I had to look it up to see if it meant anything – which it does – and it is a “mania” or “frantic zeal for freedom”. As I said, I love the music but I’m not sure I’m actually smart enough to enjoy it for the right reasons! The music is fresh, valid and vibrant with some wonderful and understated guitar work which is exceptionally intricate as the band builds a lush and exotic sound over which Studenberg weaves the magic of a wonderful wordsmith with a delivery that is absolutely intoxicating. They even include a cover of the Tears For Fears track Shout and this is given an alternative and darker edge which actually changes the song totally and I always appreciate it when a band plays with a cover rather than simply recreating it. In truth, they have done as good a job with Shout as Gary Jules and Michael Andrews did with Mad World which is high praise.

If you are looking for alt-rock with a steely edge and delivered with almost paranoid angst then you are going to love this new album with a difference that is truly delicious and quite unique.

Eleutheromania track list

  1. Lambs (4:41)
  2. Breach (3:54)
  3. Surrogate (3:39)
  4. Shout (3:54)
  5. Pareidolia (3:28)
  6. Plane (3:38)
  7. Privateer (3:13)
  8. Plateau (3:42)
  9. Hyperextend (3:42)
  10. Seasons Change (4:05)
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