I'd never heard anything from The Trews before now but with four albums (including two that went gold) and several singles already under their belt, thought it was definitely worth giving these Canadian rockers a spin. And what an incredibly fine album it is too!
From the instant they kick off with the up tempo guitar riffery from irresistably catchy starter 'Misery Loves Company', this album simply bursts out of the speakers with track after track of fabulous uplifting, upbeat rock and I'm caught, hook (and there are many of those), line and sinker.
'One By One' switches into a softer mood, an evocative song about heartbreak and loss that loses no impulsion, melting a touch of tribal drumming with soaring blues guitars, then the intriguingly named 'People Of The Deer' stomps in to full rock 'n' roll regalia, blistering guitar playing and searing harmonies filling up the room.
For those, like me, that haven't heard this band before, The Trews comprise of Canadians Colin MacDonald on lead vocals and guitar, brother John-Angus MacDonald on backing vocals and guitar (with names that would do any Scot proud!), cousin and drummer Sean Dalton and bassist Jack Syperek.
They have honed their music to this point with relentless recording and touring, playing support slots to the likes of The Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, Guns 'n' Roses, Kiss and Nickelback amongst others and this fact alone should give you some inkling into just how good they really are.
Melding good, honest rock 'n' roll with a hint of Jackson Browne, a touch of the Eels, whisps of the Eagles, wonderful New Orleans blues and an infusion of cool, clear Canadian air, they have come up with a sound unique to them and a true delight to hear.
'Stay With Me' is simply gorgeous, Colin MacDonald putting his heart and soul into his vocals, this soaring emotive track just takes your breath away and they continue on in this fashion through one of their singles from the album, the delightfully rocking title song 'Hope And Ruin'.
'If You Wanna Start Again' rocks sweetly along whilst at times drifting into REM territory, 'The World I Know' picks up the tempo with a bit of a Foo Fighters feel to it then 'Dreaming Man' switches mood again into a bright and breezy little number betrayed by the touch of melancholy in the vocals.
'I'll Find Someone Who Will' and 'Love Is The Real Thing' slip back into more traditional rock mode, 'Burned' is a delightful blend of blues and harmonies and final track 'You Gotta Let Me In' finishes off in fine style with some feather light acoustic guitars, melodies and just the smallest hint of sadness creeping in to some great lyrics.
'Hope And Ruin' is an absolutely fabulous album from The Trews with all the makings of being a classic and if you buy just one album this year, make sure it's this one.