don angelini sheds light on the scene…
Hailing from Ocean County’s shore points, New Jersey has given us Triumph & Tragedy and their promising debut six-song EP.
In 2013, we have bands like The Wonder Years and Man Overboard writing what amounts to mediocre teenage angst scrawled on Tumblr. It provides enough second-hand embarrassment to make us forget that intelligence and thoughtful power-pop like Samiam, Gameface, and Farside ever existed.
Triumph & Tragedy’s musical maturity reminds us that they do and they do it well. On the opening track “10 Years In The Making”, the listener get hints of riffs in the vein of Epitaph-era Hot Water Music tightly executed in solid synchronization with percussion by drummer Steve Szymanski. On “Awkward Silences,” guitarist Adam Reid successfully channels the late Tony Sly vocally while his instrumental counterparts assist in beautifully layering a melodic gem reminiscent of No Use For A Name’s last proper full-length. It just about qualifies as a b-side from 2008’s The Feel Good Record Of The Year. It’s that close. You can also hear this on “Floral Prints In Hospitals” combined with the bounciness of early I Am The Avalanche. On “Runaway” it is obvious that Triumph & Tragedy know how to write an emotional, catchy song without relying on too much saccharine. It leaves you feeling hopeful, singing along, and bobbing your head…not crying on your buddy’s shoulder. The band’s bio begins with “Do you miss honest, heartfelt music?”
My answer is I don’t have to because Triumph and Tragedy offers just that.