Trophy Lungs Album Cover
September 14th, 2015
I just photographed the cover art for the new album for Boston punk band Trophy Lungs. We set up a stealth photo shoot late one night in the kitchen of rock venue Sinclair in Harvard Square. Things got a bit grimy! Below is more about the new album with words from
Trophy Lungs – Day Jobs (Antique Records)
Day Jobs serves as a powerful addition the Boston punk scene. While there’s been plenty of scrappy, street punk bands that emerged from Kenmore Square’s Rat (RIP, you filthy beast), there hasn’t been much in the way of poppy, snotty punk. Trophy Lungs deliver the sound of being recorded with a back pocket flask maintaining their momentum. It hits a sonic sweet spot like a glowing buzz—lips get loose and you mention things that people might not otherwise want to talk about.
There’s beauty in those moments of epiphany. If you bottle it all up, you’ll eventually explode like a manic Ned Flanders. Day Jobs is a straight up venting project about being somewhere you don’t feel you belong, and a sturdy middle finger to 9-5. “Your Finest Well Whisky Please” kicks things off (probably to the boss’ groin) with a call to arms of guitar squeals and drum snares that pop us out of a daze. Those rapid snare fills become a recurring treat on this nine-track debut album. They control my mind and keep the pacing of Day Jobs at a fast, fulfilling rate.
Like many good punk bands preceding them, the Trophy Lungs share vocal duties—giving depth to their gripes and camaraderie. The shared rage of Boston’s classist neighborhoods comes through on “Tough Calls in Inman Square.” Kevin Bogart and Kelly McGuire shout, “I can’t stop thinking how fucking cold it is in this town. I know that it’s not what I deserve, it’s how much I can afford.” It’s at this track that I realize how Boston this record really is. This city is in transition, growing rapidly with condos and then some more condos. Extreme wealth and classism are abundant. We even bid for the Olympics to be here, for fuck’s sake. Day Jobs is not only pissed at bad jobs, but it’s calling out the skewed scales of Boston.
If you don’t want to think about that angle, you’re a lazy turd, but also—you can enjoy this for its skatepunk mastery, it’s a damn good album. This trio’s debut has been a long time coming, but worth the wait. The sound quality is a sonic blast, with just the right amount of choppy pedals and immediacy to make this a contemporary Boston gem. So stop saying our best band is Aerosmith.
Dad tip: Take it from Trophy Lungs – who you are from 9-5 doesn’t control who you are from 5-9. Get out there and live your dreams. (Scott Murry)