Named in honour of the deepest part of the ocean, Vancouver group Marianas Trench is dropping its biggest, brightest, and boldest album yet, Astoria. Josh, Matt, Mike, and Ian formed the band in 2001. After an early EP and an eventual signing to local label 604 Records, the group released its formal debut album in 2006, Fix Me, eventually certified gold. The Trench’s following albums Masterpiece Theatre (2009) and Ever After (2011) both hit platinum. The band received the Group of the Year JUNO Award in 2013. Prior to 2015, Marianas Trench placed 14 songs on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, the highest charting of which was “Haven’t Had Enough” at #9. Singles “All to Myself” and “Cross My Heart” have both been certified double platinum. Astoria which comes out tomorrow is the group’s fourth studio album.
Like a number of Canadian bands that popped up in the early years of the new millennium, Marianas Trench initially took to surfing the popular waves of punk flavoured tunes, and as the currents have changed in the 2010s, has smoothly transitioned into the preferred dance pop territory. Carly Rae Jepsen who has worked with lead singer Josh Ramsay has commented that he is a musical genius.
With, Astoria, Marianas Trench offers something beyond the simple funk riffs of today’s CHR. The album is a full-blown musical jam filled with atmosphere and larger-than-life anthems that should broaden its appeal across generations. Title-track opener with fade-ins of hair-raising synths and percussion warm ups blazes forth with thundering guitars then changes pace into theatrical Queen-style harmonies; find more harmonies on “Who Do You Love”. Fans of Prince, funk, and falsettos, may experience their ears perking up with track #2, “Burning Up”, another winner. Airplay has smartly snatched up “One Love”, a feel good pop gem currently rolling up the charts. Another precious nugget is previously released track “Wildfire” which houses MT’s signature style progression. “Forget Me Not” provides us with a fabulous piano ballad that soars with emotion. Closer “End of an Era”, like the opener, takes us on a suite of an adventure. Other standouts are “This Means War” and “While We’re Young”. Interspersed with the songs are short instrumentals through the album which provide nice breaks to draw some reflective moods into the heart. The album’s concept was based on adventure fantasy films like The Goonies. The album is being released internationally through Interscope Records.
Astoria finds Marianas Trench at its finest hour. It’s one of the best pop albums of the year. iTunes