I always get excited when I am asked to do album reviews. I get even more jazzed when I get to review a piece of work like this one by The Tremens. At first listen I was intrigued and after the second go around, I found myself immersed in it.
The band is a well-oiled machine that never stops delivering the goods. This tasty menu of indie/punk/rock/pop is smooth on the palette leaving you wanting more, making it that much easier to play it again the second the ride is over.
The band consists of:
Anthony Longworth Tony – Vocals, Rhythm/Lead Guitar
Davor Tojcic Dado – Vocals, Bass
Slaven Kopanja Kop – Rhythm/lead Guitar
Terry – Drums
The musicians are obviously talented; full of energy and very tight. I love the way the band sounds like they have influences ranging from the early 1970’s through the mid 1990’s and yet deliver material that is completely original musically and lyrically. The multi-genre themes blend together never stepping on each other’s toes which offers up something for everybody, yet remaining one solid art piece. This album will remain relevant because it would have worked 30 years ago as well as today and frankly for years to come. True talent and great songs never fall off the horizon; this album will remain on top.
To me with The Tremens, it’s all or nothing and who in the world doesn’t want it all? Do yourself a favor take it all and thank The Tremens for it.
Right out of the gate your ears will be jolted by a thunderous drum fill and an infectious guitar riff straight out of the arena rock fog of the mid-70’s and set down into the first verse landing you into an indie rock setting of the 90’s.
Enter a determined but laid back raspy vocal any singer would give his right arm for. Now there is no time to breathe and relax as the bass and drums fill the spaces with grace and precision. At this point in the song I’m not about to let go, I’m on a ride, on my way to the top of this thing, all in. Then without a moment’s notice my hands are in the air; as I free fall into the chorus I am weightless and in no need of a safety net. As if the main riff is hook enough, this chorus keeps the motion at an even faster pace. The backup vocals are sublime and actually give me retro shivers. Timing and tempo are impeccable and like any great pop song you find yourself wishing that you could bottle this so it would never end.
To quote a lyric from this gem “What are you looking for, what will you find?” – the only answer is one helluva song that could easily land on the top of the indie charts!
Sure to get you on your feet this song gives me a sense that there will be a triumph on the horizon. Once again the bass and drums lock you into a march that isn’t about to let go; once everything kicks into the verse you are not going to want to sit down. The lyrics and the music complement each other perfectly, the guitar work relentless, creating imagery as you can picture the band on top of a mountain raising up the sun and the swirling purple and orange hue of a perfect dawn. I usually don’t do comparisons to other bands in a review but this song rivals U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” in first-rate fashion.
The guitar solo weaves nicely over the other instrumentation, sounding very intricate without having to use a thousand notes to get its point across. I really like that; most guitar players would use way too many notes in this situation. The solo grabs your attention and keeps things moving with feeling which this song has plenty of. The lyrics tell a great story, very infectious. This song is one long hook - thanks for this one guys!
Complete Bastard/My Best Friend
I was looking for what I would call the “1990’s sound,” leaning toward the early 90’s before the “Grunge Age” sadly ran out of steam, and I found it in these two songs. Both songs have amazing dark overtones; lyrically set in the blue hues, “Complete Bastard” being the mellow cup of organic concoction and “My Best Friend” lurking in the vicious shadowy waters.
I like the way “Complete Bastard’s” tormented lyrics weigh against the melodious instrumental. It tells you that it’s okay to be chilled out as you are going through this crisis that you are experiencing. The music is mesmerizing; it keeps you glued to your chair; you can remain there visualizing what this person is going through. The voicing and tone of the instruments are angelic while the lyric is dark; you’re being pulled into more than one direction. It is classic grunge.
My Best Friend:
The playbook on this one was followed to the letter. I love the heaviness; there’s a nice buildup to the pedaling of the instrumental sections, which is my favorite example of the aforementioned “vicious shadowy waters.” The guitar/bass interplay, the tones, guitar harmonies, the drive and intensity, makes it possible to drift and contemplate. The drummer keeps you moving along and is a key ingredient to keeping you pressed against the moment. The delivery of the vocal in the verses pull you way down into the blue, setting the listener up for the crash yet to come, perfectly!
Pride of Generation:
Clocking in at a mere 1:31 this song seems the logical choice for the classic punk song off the album. At first listen I’m hearing the opening riff and thinking “wait a minute, this sounds rather bluesy, even a little Rock Tex-Mex, not what you would think of as classic punk” but then when the verse kicks in, you are dropped into a classic sounding punk song….so now I’m thinking “hey this breaks all the rules!” which makes the idea of the intro a “punk thing.” Okay, did you get all of that?
After several listens I am finding this song to have a couple different indie retro aspects to it. The Intro reminds me of something that could have shot out of the late 60’s/early 70’s and the rest of the song a solid trip to the very late 70’s/early 80’s radio. It’s something underground indie radio stations and record stores would pick up on, inevitably making its way around to teenagers who would make it their own, never wanting it to become big enough to become a “sell-out.”
Not to purposely contradict I also find this song having more than huge cult status possibilities. The lyrics are obviously punk. You can just stand in one place and rock your head back and forth, and keep your fists raised in the air, and even throw in a mosh pit for good measure; it’s all there. The contradicting element here is that it could have been used in late 70’s/very early 80’s film. You know the kind - any of those classic John Hughes films “The Breakfast Club,” Sixteen Candles” or films like “Valley Girl,” “Sid & Nancy,” and, hell yes, television! Something along the lines of “The Young Ones,” Freaks & Geeks” or “Kids in the Hall.”
It’s great to hear someone say “Take it or leave it, this is what and who I am so stuff that up your face”! Love the guitar tones on this one and the tone of the vocal; all the ingredients for a punk song are in the mix, so enjoy the stew.
If you like “hit you in the face” rock and roll I’m throwing this one at you. A no holds barred plate full of meat and potatoes. You’ve got everything here from raging over-driven guitar riffs, a four on the floor steady drum rant, and a bass riff locking everything in. During the instrumental break you won’t find any lead guitar work but there is no need for it - a wise move for this song. What you do get is a superb use of phase shifting; it makes the whole section work. The vocal is straight from the street; hard and tough. You are going to want to play this at full throttle and take no prisoners.