by: RACHEL MEANS/Staff Writer
Marianas Trench is by far one of the most innovative and creative pop rock groups playing today.
Formed in 2001 by lead singer Josh Ramsay, Marianas Trench has spent their 14-year career making music that spans from Punk, to bubblegum, and touring all throughout North America and the United Kingdom.
Since their debut album, “Fix Me,” was released in 2006, these four Canadian boys have been steadily upping their game with every new album released. “Astoria” continues that tradition by taking the band’s signature sound and adding a little something new to it.
Consisting of 17 tracks, “Astoria” takes the band down a more pop-influenced road than any of their previous work. Songs such as “Burning Up,” “Who do You Love,” and “Shut Up and Kiss Me” take the ‘80’s pop sound that has been regaining popularity lately and adds a heavy dose of show-tune flare to create a sound that is impossible not to dance to.
That’s not to say, however, that they have turned their backs on their rock-and-roll roots. If anything, the strong influences of classic bands such as Queen, something that has always been present in Marianas Trench’s music, is stronger than ever.
Ever since their 2009 sophomore album, “Masterpiece Theater,” one of the defining features of the Vancouver band’s sound has been the use of long, theatrical numbers, reminiscent of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” interspersed throughout their records to turn the album into a kind of story. “Astoria” follows that tradition and uses the songs “Astoria,” “Dearly Departed” and “End of an Era” to tell the story of the demise of a long-term relationship.
Along with the familiar style, the band has also found room to try new things. The most notable of these is the implementation of instrumental tracks between the normal fair. “Astoria” has a total of four instrumental songs: “August Burns Red,” “Hospital Bells,” “Hollywood Renaissance,” “Never Say Die,” and “And Strait on Till Morning.” These songs serve as transition points for the album, moving it from angry break-up anthems into slower numbers.
The standout track of the album is a song titled “This Means War,” which combines a bouncy beat with bittersweet lyrics that harken back to their 2011 album, “Ever After.” The song is nearly impossible to get out of your head.
All of this is complemented by Ramsay’s powerful, glam-rock vocals, and a fun-loving air signature to the band.
All in all, “Astoria” is by far the most creative album for Marianas Trench yet. It manages to take all the best elements of their past albums while seamlessly incorporating new elements. With its masterful throw-backs to older albums, soaring vocals, and catchy beats, “Astoria” will definitely not disappoint.