Album Review: Marianas Trench- Astoria

Review by Mark Ventrice

RIYL: Headley, Down With Webster, All Time Low

Recommended Tracks: “This Means War”, “Dearly Departed”, “Astoria”, “End Of An Era”

Grade: A

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Astoria is the second in a line of concept albums that the Canadian pop rock band, Marianas Trench, has released. This album acts as a sequel to their previous album, Ever After, which was about a couple breaking up and then finally at the end of the album they get back together. The story can be experienced just through listening to this album without knowing it’s a follow up to the previous album and is best listened to in one sitting from front to back.

The title track and opener, “Astoria” is where you first learn about what happened to the couple from Ever After. The line “goodbye mother’s fairy tale/never after will suffice/when star-crossed lovers take their lives” not only tells you that their relationship didn’t work out and sets up for the rest of the song and album, but includes a clever play on the concept of Ever After just being a fairy tale and it really is just never after. Another really clever line in the song is “do you know everything happens?/It happens in threes”. The song is all in threes; three part harmony that repeats three times and the song is in ¾ time. The main question brought up in this song that really sets the album up is the line “Do I survive you Astoria?” and since astoria is another word for a story, he is asking if you survive your story. The album follows from there. The song is a near 7 minute behemoth. It is one of the best albums on the album and it shows how clever songwriters they are.

“This Means War” is where lead singer Josh Ramsay talks about them seeing each other for the first time after the breakup and the line “I hate to admit it, but I miss the war” speaks on how he misses the contact they had with each other, even if it was bad. Other than content, the song is one of the most uptempo and happy songs on the album. Ramsay shows off his ability to hit the high note over and over through this song and the rest of the album.

The witty songwriting, Josh Ramsay’s iconic voice, the story that the album tells and the range of emotions it makes you feel make this album nearly flawless. Every song plays an important role in the development of the story and it shouldn’t be spoiled anymore than what is written here. If you can listen to both this album and Ever After it would make for the best experience but if not, this album can be heard on its own. Astoria is sure to end up a classic in the pop rock world for years and years to come.

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Posted on November 3, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. For as much as I like your take on the concept albums I believe there a few things you should know. Ever After is about a guy being taken to a different place where it is ran by an evil queen who stole the hearts of all the toys – being her “Toy Soldiers” as well as the old kings daughter “Porcelain”. There is a chest where all the hearts are stored as well as the way home for him, and Porcelain has half the key, the other half is with an old man with a stutter (which ends up being the old kings brother. The three go to the Toy Factory where the toys are created and the hearts taken from them. They plead with the toys to “Face the music when it’s dire” in which some rebel against the evil queen along side the old king, while the other three go to the chest. The evil queen attacks the main fellow trying to steal is heart but Porcelain and The old stuttering man enter both of their half of the keys and which the queen gets over taken and Porcelain and the main guy can go back to his (their) homeland, but once there they realize that it is not the same and that “there is no place like home” in which they become King and Queen of this toy land.

    Astoria is a story of a coming of the ages. With several references to a coming of the ages movie “The Goonies” (Astoria is the town in Oregon in which the movie is based out of). And although this album follows even more down Josh’s life, it’s also about pushing through adversity and tough times, hence “do I survive you Astoria”, as well as the classic line delivered in the movie “Never say Die”.

    I truly enjoyed reading your article and your take on it all. You are absolutely though go excellent together, and this is an album that will live on for a very long time.

    Thank you,

    Like

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