At this point, Marianas Trench are the kings of pop concept albums. “Masterpiece Theatre” was a theatric album that was like a pop version of masterpiece theatre. “Ever After” was similar to the record before it, but it had a cool fairy tale theme that made for an interesting concept overall. The new album from Marianas Trench is “Astoria” and it does some things differently.
“Astoria” is Marianas Trench writing a love letter to the 80s and early 90s. The cover of the album is based on The Goonies, and that’s referenced a few times on the album. There’s also a ton of musical references on the album too. Almost too many to count. Every time you listen through the album you can find a new one. The biggest examples that I’ve found so far include the xylophone on “This Means War”, it’s a lot like “Cruel Summer”. The melody of that song also sounds a ton like “Life is a Highway”. There’s also the guitar line from “Footloose” at the beginning of the album… and that’s just the initial wave of eggs.
“Astoria” has a ton of 80s references on it, but the main question to ask is: is the album any good? I’m happy to report that it is. Just like the last two albums, it’s a record that you can listen to over and over again. Josh Ramsay’s vocal on the album is exceptional again too. He might go to the falsetto a touch too much here, but it’s still a vocal performance that’s highly entertaining to listen to.
With “Astoria”, Marianas Trench made another epic pop record. The references are cool and the music is stellar. If you’ve been a fan of the band’s first two albums, you’ll love this one too. If you haven’t given them a chance yet, now’s the perfect time to start.