Trophy Eyes & Seaway

The American Vacation Tour

Trophy Eyes & Seaway

Microwave, Can't Swim, Hot Mulligan

Thu, November 29, 2018

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 6:30 pm

First Unitarian Church

Philadelphia, PA

$18.00 - $22.00

This event is all ages

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Trophy Eyes
Trophy Eyes
5 piece from Newcastle NSW, bringing together their own combination of aggressive pop punk and melodic hardcore.
Evolution often happens at just the right time. Six years deep into their career, Seaway progress the patented pop punk prowess that put them on the map with sharper songcraft and a nod to the nineties on their third full-length record, Vacation [Pure Noise Entertainment]. The Ontario, Canada quintet—Patrick Carleton [rhythm guitar, co-vocals], Andrew Eichinger [lead guitar, backing vocals], Ryan Locke [lead vocals], Adam Shoji [bass], and Ken Taylor [drums]—confidently step up their game across the board, while maintaining the spark that ignited a fervent fan base.

“The new music still sounds like Seaway,” explains Andrew. “It’s got that party vibe, and it’s fun, but some of the songs are more mid-tempo. There are some more rock aspects influenced by bands we love like Weezer and Third Eye Blind. I felt like was just a matter of time before those influences came out. It’s pop punk at the end of the day. However, it’s just a little different. We sat down and talked about it. We had more time to put into this than in the past. It’s the first album where we weren’t juggling full-time jobs or school. It was a natural progression.”

It's one the boys have been working towards since their formation in 2011. Along the way, they released two energetic and explosive records—Hoser [2013] and Colour Blind [2015]—and churned out hits such as “Best Mistake” and “Sabrina The Teenage Bitch,” which both cracked the 1-million mark on Spotify. Consistently averaging over 160K streams per month, they toured with the likes of Simple Plan, Neck Deep, and Four Year Strong between landing acclaim from Alternative Press and more.

Coming off the road, they switched up the recording process by alternating extended pre-production sessions with different producers for the first time. After working with longtime collaborator Derek Hoffman in Canada during January, they retreated to Massachusetts for a week with Four Year Strong’s Alan Day before holing up in a Los Angeles studio to record with Mike Green [All Time Low, Sum 41, Pierce the Veil] and Kyle Black [Senses Fail, Five Seconds of Summer].

“We were very fortunate to work like this,” Andrew goes on. “The pre-production definitely helped polish the songs and make them what they are now. Because we had that time, being in L.A. was smooth sailing. We didn’t have to write that much in the studio. That was nice.”

The lead single “Apartment” opens the record with galloping guitar, fiery percussion, and an undeniable chant. He reveals, “I wrote that song about being at home when we’re not on tour—because you’re not there long enough to get a real job but you also don’t have anything to do. It’s the last couple of days before leaving for the road and spending time with a loved one or someone you’re in a relationship with.”

Then, there’s “Neurotic.” The skittering guitar splinters into a shimmering refrain that’s impossible to shake. “It’s a straight nineties alternative pop song,” he elaborates. “Some people think we’re rockstars living the rockstar life. We worked super hard to get to where we are. It’s about two sides of touring. When you’re gone, you wish you’re home. When you’re home, you wish you were on tour.”

Elsewhere, “Scatter My Ashes Along The Coast Or Don’t” [featuring Caleb Shomo] snaps from a guttural groove into a bludgeoning stomp. “We all contributed to the song lyrically, which was really cool,” he states. “That was a first. Because it was so collaborative, it felt right to put Caleb on the song. His voice was perfect.”

Ultimately, every element represents an evolution for Seaway as they arrive with their brightest, biggest, and boldest work to date.

“I want people to feel that we’ve progressed as a band,” Andrew leaves off. “We think this is the best form of Seaway we’ve been able to put out there. We hope people see that and have a good time while listening to it.”
It may have only been two years since Atlanta’s Microwave released its debut record Stovall, but much has changed in that short amount of time. While the exuberance and joy of Stovall dealt with vocalist/guitarist Nathan Hardy’s wide-eyed wonder at a world previously obscured by a strict religious upbringing and his time as a Mormon missionary – songs of innocence, if you will – Much Love details the aftermath once that awestruck amazement has been dampened by the harsh realities of life.

These, then, are songs of experience, the sound of growing pains, with the emphasis very much on the pain, on the trials and tribulations that come after the euphoria of freedom. That’s not to say that first album was devoid of drama, because it was full of it, but the ten tracks that make up Much Love certainly traverse darker, more unstable territory by confronting the very existence and notion of life as Hardy once knew it.

“Thematically,” says Hardy, “this record is about questioning things you’ve been taught your whole life about how the world is. I grew up really religious and at one point I found for myself that I didn’t identify with that anymore. And then I started to realize that other things, like the idea of love and monogamous relationships, were also in that same vein of stuff that I’d been taught when I was younger that were just what you’re supposed to do.”

“All these things I’d been taught going to church six days a week or through watching Disney movies that reinforced the idea of finding someone and living happily ever after, I was beginning to understand weren’t universal truths after all.” He pauses. “And that, overall, made me realize there’s not an inherent meaning to life and I more or less had to build a new foundation for my life.”

Given the heavy emotional, philosophical and existential weight behind these songs, it’s no surprise that the band – completed by guitarist/vocalist Wesley Swanson, bassist Tyler Hill and drummer Timothy ‘Tito’ Pittard – found themselves writing music to suit this shift of tone and perspective. The result is that tracks like “Roaches” and “Busy” glisten with a more jagged and acerbic edge, one that’s rough and unsteady but nonetheless still full of the melodic sensibilities that defined that first record. Elsewhere, “Lighterless” is a scuzzy, grunge-pop gem, “Vomit” is a restless, jittery ball of nerves and anxiety, while “Whimper” is sultry, sleazy and almost bluesy.

Recorded and produced, like Stovall, by Travis Hill, Much Love is a more abrasive, rawer set of songs than its predecessor, more The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me than Deja Entendu. Yes, Microwave are very much still recognizable as the same band, but at the same time these songs are a conscious evolution of their sound.

“Musically,” Hardy explains, “we tried to branch out more and experiment with other sorts of tones and vibes for songs. So overall it was very much an experimental endeavor recording it. But we’ve also spent more time playing together and we’ve developed more of a personality – we realized we all like to make weird noises with our instruments and we hadn’t really incorporated that in the past. We’d fuck around during practice and make weird stuff, but it was only with this new stuff that we thought we should mess around and make noises until we find really cool ones and actually use those in the recordings.”

It all makes for an intense and cohesive representation of life that encompasses both base human behavior and emotions – sex, drugs, alcohol, jealousy, promiscuity, to name a few – as well as those more existential and philosophical elements that lie just below the surface of those actions. It’s an album that wrestles with the meaninglessness of existence and which tries – sometimes successfully, sometimes futilely – to find meaning in that vacuum of insignificance and emptiness. In that sense, Much Love is very much a coming-of-age album, but it’s most definitely not of the saccharine, indie flick variety. And while this record is centered around a very specific and unique set of circumstances, these are universal songs that have a profound and powerful impact, regardless of your own personal situation.
Can't Swim
Can't Swim
Based out of Keansburg New Jersey, Can't Swim was founded by singer Chris LoPorto in the spring of 2015. After spending most of his life playing drums in various bands, Chris decided to step in to song writing. The songs were contagious from the start and grabbed the attention of his good friends Mike Sanchez, Danny Rico, and Greg McDevitt.

Before even playing their first show, the band announced their signing to Pure Noise Records in December of 2015 and released their debut EP, "DEATH DESERVES A NAME" on February 24, 2016. They spent all of 2016 touring with bands such as; Four Year Strong, Hit the Lights, Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties, Moose Blood, Boston Manor, Set Your Goals, and Valencia.

When it came time to begin recording their first full length, "FAIL YOU AGAIN" they called upon their own drummer Danny Rico (who produced DDAN) to engineer and produce this as well. Once the project was complete, they found that the songs required a much more full sounding live performance and their longtime friend and New Jersey native Andrea Morgan was a perfect addition to the band. Danny moved to third guitar/vocals and Andrea took his place on the drums.

Fail You Again was released on March 10th, 2017.
Hot Mulligan
Hot Mulligan
Michigan’s upper peninsula is trapped under what seems like permafrost for most of the year. This chilling effect makes the landmass more comfortable with stationary lives rather than lives spent outside its natural sprawl. Hot Mulligan may have been born in this green giant, but they escaped its clutches shortly after high school to beat pavement and their own neuroses-at the same time.

Since 2014, the five-piece has gained ground for their earnest approach to songwriting, melding together the ferocious riffs of pop punk’s latest wave with the tenacious vulnerability of indie rock. The marriage is one shared by many bands, but on Opportunities - their latest EP earning a re-release via No Sleep Records - the courtship entangles itself in new territories, mostly in those characterized by cavernous percussion, hooks so buoyant they bob up and down, and guitar and synth interplay that belong to a much older, bolder band.

The future is full of other excuses to keep moving, and for Hot Mulligan, they’re easily jumping at the chance to speed up.

~James Cassar
Venue Information:
First Unitarian Church
2125 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19103