Progressive post-hardcore greats Trophy Scars will release their first album in seven years, Astral Pariah this Friday (9/10), and we're premiering the full stream ahead of the release. In the aftermath of their landmark 2006 album Alphabet. Alphabets., the NJ band have increasingly been forging their own path, offering up a modern mix of prog, psychedelia, and blues that retains the post-hardcore grit of their early days. It may have been seven years since they last released an album, but time hasn't passed Trophy Scars by; they just continue to operate at their own pace and write music that's unlike almost any current rock band.

The first Trophy Scars record to be entirely self-produced and mixed by guitarist John Ferrara, Astral Pariah is a concept album, some of the band's darkest music yet, and also some of their bluesiest. It lives underneath the "punk" umbrella, but the blues elements hearken back to the acoustic guitar-slinging blues singers of the early/mid 20th century. The concept of the album looks to the past too, as the band explains: "Astral Pariah spans several years during the post-Civil War western expansion. It details the story of a lone gunman dedicated to wiping out his entire blood line with calculated vengeance. Point of view narratives switch between family members throughout the album as each one meets their sorry fate."

Vocalist Jerry Jones adds, "Astral Pariah might be our darkest record but it’s our favorite. It was just so much fun to design. The entire process showed us what’s possible when building songs in the studio versus writing them wholly in a live practice setting (which is how we usually write). It was satisfying to see something that we first wrote as a short story manifest into a fully cinematic experience. We loved playing with the dynamics and rhythms a lot more on this one. We wanted to make the feel both intimate but also massive. The album’s story takes place in the Holy Vacants universe but it isn’t necessary to understand that. This is a peripheral prequel, if that makes sense. There are some lyrical easter eggs here and there but mostly this story is about a bad guy killing bad people. That was a bunch of fun to write too."

Pre-order the album at Bandcamp and stream it below...


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