It's always a worrying sign when a band titles all of the songs on an album according to some inscrutable blueprint. (As the title suggests, 12 of the 16 songs consist of the singular and plural of a word beginning with the letter A.) This suggests willful obscurity on the artists' part, a teasing dare to the listener to try to piece together "meaning" where there just as likely isn't any. After 2005's half-baked sonic experiment Goodnight Alchemy, it would seem likely that the Trophy Scars were sliding down the slippery slope into pretentious bilge. There's still some chance that they'll end up there someday, but the pleasant surprise is that Alphabet. Alphabets is a huge step up for the Trophy Scars, both in intent and execution. The songs are infinitely more complex than before, with each tune composed of layers upon layers that contain counter melodies, drones, subtle harmonies, and unexpected additions of percussion, strings, horns and electronics. Best of all, the all-out frontal assault allows the listener to ignore Jerry Jones' tortured lyrics and marble-mouthed delivery, which alone is a big step towards full enjoyment of the skronky post-hardcore enjoyment to be had here.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason