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Remembrance Day 2020

Every year we solemnly observe the sacrifices and hardships endured during past conflicts. Without diminishing any other year, this year (the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII) feels somehow that bit more poignant, more powerful, and more in need of these reminders. We must remember that, no matter how divisive the times, we are in this together, as one. Never again.



The Skip 5 Show #8: Trews – Paranoid Freak

My iTunes random play gave this to me from the Time Capsule compilation, but we all know it was the second single from their 2007 album No Time For Later.

A cool mid-tempo rocker for these guys, it’s sweeping and full and huge. I love how the piano features large, especially at the end of the track.

This is another tune that echoes well in today’s uncertain times, both musically and lyrically, with anxiety possibly leading some to be a bit more, well, paranoid than they might otherwise be.

I love this band.

Trews – Civilianaires

Unaware that this had already dropped on September 14, I snapped it up in a hurry! Y’all know I am a huge Trews fan, and have already covered all of their other albums (in series). And guess what… this album rocks! It’s true Trews, rockin’ with class and big volume, soulfully covering ballads, mid-tempo glory, and full-on rockers too. This is 13 tracks of cool, blending and shifting and beautifully hitting hard. GET YOU SOME!

PS: Also, I thank them for The New US: “Earlier this spring the band released, “The New US”, the first track from Civilianaires. Viewed through the lens of our current political climate, the band describes “The New US” as “a call-to-arms for us all to try and cut through the static, noise, clutter and b.s. of the insane times that we find ourselves living in and hopefully seek out a little truth for ourselves in the process…or at least give you something to head bang along to in frustration in the meantime.”” (spillmagazine)

The timing’s perfect.

Trews – Time Capsule

Since this is all that I have in my collection, it is with regret that here we end my Trews series (for now). Until the band releases more, that is!

This disc is, also, the whole reason why I started this Trews series in the first place. Well, I mean, obviously, I love this band and doing a series was a natural thing to do. But the recent (September 9, 2016) release of their Hits set, and my snapping it up as soon as I saw it on the shelf in the shop, made me think, ‘hey, it’s time to cover all the rest and bring it all up to now and this release, and won’t that be fun!’ It absolutely was. Thanks for reading along!

Notes: At the bottom of this post, I have included the full (amazing) track listing from this release. I have also included all of the tour dates for their current tour. If you are anywhere near these towns, get out the there and see these guys in action!

The Trews Story Series, Part 10: Time Capsule

Being a hits set, I’m not gonna go through all the tracks we know and love again here, as I’ve already covered them in the series. But there are four new tracks on this set!

Lotta Work / Little Love is pure bluesy guitar Trews and oh man take notice! Mixed in with the established hits, you’d think this swaggering rawk blaster was released ages ago.

Sing Your Heart Out we know from the Acoustic: Friends And Total Strangers set. This studio version’s a gorgeous acoustic track that builds into a full band keeper. I just love this track. “Sing your heart out, drive them blues away” indeed!

Beautiful And Tragic takes a different tack, an almost 80s melody line while band jams away behind. It’s a quick rocker, and while it’s a bit different from the usual Trews, it also totally sounds like them and it’s fantastic. I love this song!

Chinese Kites builds off a cool intro and becomes another Trews rocker. How do these people continue to do this? It’s so crazy good. This energy, this savvy and ability. It’s glorious.

In Sum:

You need to buy this in multiple copies. Put one in your car, one in the house. Leave one at work and maybe one at the in-laws’ house. Whatever you do, make sure that wherever you go, you are not without this CD. Wow! What a testimony to the brilliance and glory of the Trews legacy (thus far). DIG IT!

Track Listing:
Lotta Work / Little Love*
Not Ready To Go
Tired Of Waiting
So She’s Leaving
Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me
Ishmael & Maggie
Hold Me In Your Arms
Paranoid Freak
Man Of Two Minds
I Can’t Stop Laughing
Sing Your Heart Out*
Beautiful And Tragic*
Highway Of Heroes
Hope & Ruin
The Power Of Positive Drinking
In The Morning (f. Serena Ryder)
What’s Fair Is Fair
Rise In The Wake
Chinese Kites*

Trews Current Tour Dates

OCT 5 WED  The Saint  Asbury Park, NJ
OCT 6 THU  Knitting Factory  Brooklyn, NY
OCT 7 FRI  Milkboy  Philadelphia, PA
OCT 8 SAT  Jammin Java  Vienna, VA
OCT 21 FRI  Casino Rama Resort  Rama, Canada
NOV 10 THU  Distrikt  Victoria, Canada
NOV 11 FRI  The Mule  Penticton, Canada
NOV 12 SAT  Commodore Ballroom  Vancouver, Canada
NOV 14 MON  Better Than Fred’s  Grande Prairie, Canada
NOV 15 TUE  Better Than Fred’s  Grande Prairie, Canada
NOV 17 THU  Canalta Centre  Medicine Hat, Canada
NOV 18 FRI  The Marquee  Calgary, Canada
NOV 19 SAT  Average Joe’s  Lethbridge, Canada
NOV 21 MON  The Bert Church Theatre  Airdrie, Canada
NOV 22 TUE  Bo’s  Red Deer, Canada
NOV 24 THU  Casino Regina Show Lounge  Regina, Canada
NOV 25 FRI  O’Brian’s Event Centre  Saskatoon, Canada
NOV 26 SAT  Burton Cummings Theatre  Winnipeg, Canada
DEC 2 FRI  The Station Music Hall  Sarnia, Canada
DEC 3 SAT  The Station Music Hall  Sarnia, Canada
DEC 8 THU  Maxwell’s Concert & Events  Waterloo, Canada
DEC 9 FRI  London Music Hall  London, Canada
DEC 10 SAT  Phoenix Concert Theatre  Toronto, Canada
DEC 14 WED  Imperial Theatre  Saint John, Canada
DEC 16 FRI  The Marquee Ballroom  Halifax, Canada

Trews – Acoustic: Friends And Total Strangers (Deluxe Edition)

As promised, here’s my second Trews post for today…

The Trews Story Series, Part 9: Acoustic: Friends And Total Strangers (Deluxe Edition) (2015)

Because the KMA loves you and, let’s face it, this is just how it all worked out, I’ll be telling this story in three parts.

Are you ready? Of course you are. Time to get our Trews on…


1) It’s (Almost) All Been Done

I’ve already covered this album’s original 2009 release in this series, HERE. Follow that link for a track by track analysis!

2) (Some Of) The Extra Hotness Is Here

This release has four tracks that were newly-added for this 2015 release.

Every Inambition actually really rocks as an acoustic tune, played with energy and verve. Love that guitar solo! Wow! Could it be I love this one more than the album version? Possible… Makin’ Sunshine was built to be here. The vocals own this track, along with that repeating guitar line that draws your ear… Yes yes yes. No Time For Later also just feels great. Dance and pump your fists in the air and have a great frickin’ time! Not Ready To Go rumbles into being and it’s pure glory. This rocker track loses nothing from the album version.

3) I Just Want To Know What’s Going On

There are three releases of this album: the original CD, the DVD, and this deluxe re-issue. None of them have all of the tracks. What? I KNOW!

I have made a helpful chart of the confusion and, thanks to Geoff at 1001albumsin10years, have managed to get it here in these pages for you to see. The yellow and blue highlighting represent tracks exclusive to that release…

We can only hope that, some day, another “deluxe” edition will be released that sees all of the tracks on one release together. C’mon Trews, how come this 2015 “deluxe” didn’t do that already?

In Sum:

We already know that this acoustic session kicks total ass. Adding 4 more tracks to the re-issue makes it even more awesome. I just wish they’d get it all together in one 2CD set.

Imagine, the 15 tracks from the original, the 8 tracks extra on the DVD, and the 4 extra from the re-issue. By my count, that’s one huge 27 track set! I’d buy that!

Please, Trews, Please! Do it!

Trews – The Trews

Sorry I missed posting a Trews record yesterday, folks. I’ll make up for it today with two! Here’s the first one… Ready? Of course you are…

The Trews Story Series, Part 8: The Trews (2014)

Rise In The Wake^ starts off epic, teasing with the lift-off and then there it is! Pure awesome Trews rock, fist-pumping and full of happy energy. I could totally hear Sloan covering this one. Imagine! Up next it’s Age Of Miracles, with those guitars in the intro pulling me into its sweet groove, where the bass holds you like a hug. Love the lyrics of this one, what an ode to existential angst. Permanent Love grows into a sweet mid-tempo pop rocker that just makes you feel damn good. That chorus lifts you, man! Yes!

The Sentimentalist keeps that pace going, beautifully jamming along, until the midpoint, where it picks up and bangs away in full rocker mode. Yes! What a track! 65 Roses brings things in with an acoustic east coast feel, matching the feeling of the song perfectly. When it reaches its apex, you’re so uplifted and feeling great, it’s crazy. I love songs like this. What’s Fair Is Fair^ is the big riff guitar track, and would be awesome in concert. Mixed down into the album here, I can’t help but the think the live version would have more teeth. Anyway, still a great track.

Where’s The Love builds into a rapid-beat rock tune that, to me, feels like an homage to the Hip. Listen to it, can’t you here the Hip? I can! And that’s a great thing, sure, but the Trews still make it their own – usually in the Hip’s music, the guitars act as counterpoint to the vocal line, whereas here they blast along together. Up next it’s In The Morning, slowing things way down and pulling us into its acoustic guitar gorgeousness. I could listen to this all day! Once again, I love the lyrics – very uplifting, full of hope. It also doesn’t hurt that Serena Ryder is here, adding her unique and beautiful vocals to this brilliant song. Why wasn’t this a single?????

New King^ is full-on, balls out rawk with a superb guitar line, crisp and biting. This one is built to shake the place. Fuckin’ crank it! Yeah!!! Living The Dream cranks things back, ambling along a bit… I can hear Sloan doing this one, too! It’s got that 70s rock semi-ballad feel to it that the Trews nail completely. And finally, it’s Under The Sun, with it’s thundering tom drums while the vocals float above them. The guitars step up and give it some edge, but it’s yet another totally great album closer track froma band that has been ruling since they started.

In Sum:

By now, as you’ve read this series, you have to know that I love the Trews, and it’s my considered opinion that they honestly have not released even a mediocre track, let alone a bad record. This eponymously-titled record is so huge, so full and beautiful that, at this point, we’re all lucky that these fine gentlemen (and their friends) continue to make records for us. Another perfect addition to their stellar discography. A must-own? Absolutely.

^ This song was a single.


Trews – Thank You, And I’m Sorry

The Trews Story Series, Part 7: …Thank You, And I’m Sorry (2012)

This EP includes the presence of Rich Robinson (and his playing on three tracks here). Gordie Johnson also returns to help with production. I know! Wahoo!

The Power Of Positive Drinking^ is a big bluesy rock track (a la By Your Side) that would just kill it live. Also, I just love that song title haha. I should take notes from it – whenever I drink, I tend to write harsh Drunk Reviews instead!

Next up is a cover of Paul Kelly’s Leaps And Bounds has a pounding, driving beat while the guitars chug and the vocals soar over top. When it hits the chorus, I swear, we’re achieving lift-off!

Lord, Keep Me In Mind~ brings out the acoustics, tambourine, and bongos while it beautifully ambles along. That bluesy guitar is awesome, too (gotta be Rich?). When it breaks down to just his vocals and he’s repeating “Lately, I don’t even know myself!” the spiritual feel is right there and it feels like truer words were never spoken.

Oblivion~ kicks it up several notches and it’s an in-your-face rocker (which also contains this EP’s title in its lyrics). I love this driving beat, especially when it goes to just the drums and vocals with those chunky guitars. If they played this live, the place would go nuts.

Not Yours To Love~ starts off with super-flowery piano, then comes in a la Bad Luck Blues Eyes tempo with the best song the Crowes never wrote. What a great tune! That big bluesy solo is gorgeous. This track is another highlight of this EP full of them!

Herm-Aphrodite (She Was A Guy) is a fun, tambourine bangin’ rock tune with cool backing vocals and a real 50s feel to it. It’s a tune full of humour. “She had a count-ry voice…” haha nicely done. About halfway through, it cuts to half time and goes all slinky bluesy before picking up again. This would never get played on the radio, but it’s great fun. “God is in the details,” indeed!

…And We Are The Trews is a big guitar rocker that pleases from every angle. The harmony vocals are back, and it’s like a template Trews rock track. You know that sound. Perfect, really, considering the title of the tune… By the time they start name-checking all the great Canadian acts I am right in the pocket with them. Glory!

Check out that section:

…Here’s to you and here’s to me
and here’s to Tim Chaisson and Daniel Wesley
Here’s to Big Sugar and 54-40
Here’s to Trooper and the Hip and Geddy Lee

I Mother Earth, Our Lady Peace
Here’s to the Watchmen and the Headstones; Tea Party.
Here’s to BTO and Honeymoon Suite, 
Bare Naked Ladies and the Broken Social Scene

Here’s to Stompin’ Tom and gay ol’ K.D.,
Ronnie Hawkins and Red Rider, Jim Cuddy.
Here’s to Wide Mouth Mason and that wrecked Thornley
Sam Roberts Band, Matty Mays, Ryan’s Fancy.

Eric Lapointe et Rock Voisine; Jean Leloup; 
Les Respectables; n’est pas Celine

Here’s to Sloan and the Emergency
Ryan Hinds, April Wine and Great Big Sea
Doug from the Slugs and Jeff Healey, 
Frank is dead from Teenage Head RIP

From the Commodore to the old Marquee
And every guy, from every band who’s named Gordie

And we are the…

Yup, I definitely consider the Trews worthy of inclusion in the long list of great acts this country has produced!

In Sum:

A must-own. Yes yes yes! Totally fun, bluesy and rockin’ and smart as hell. Just like every Trews record!


^ This song was a single.
~ Featuring Rich Robinson!

Trews – Hope & Ruin

The Trews Story Series, Part 6: Hope & Ruin (2011)

Buckle up, campers, we’re off on another Trews rawk expedition…

Misery Loves Company^ kicks us off with big riff rock straight from the 90s, but in their hands it’s pure single greatness. Get out your air guitar! I played this one twice before moving on… One By One goes acoustic and is incredibly melodic. The lyrics fly quick, and it’s a total ear worm. People Of The Deer is massive riffin’ rock glory, holy awesome! Love that guitar sound, what do they call that, a squawkbox or something? The bass rumbles us into Stay With Me, and the tracks builds into an epic concert sing-along. Restraint and release. Love it.

Then we roll into the title track, Hope & Ruin^, with vocals over those jangly guitars. It builds and builds and gains energy until the big chorus payoff. Pure Trews. If You Wanna Start Again begins with piano, and by the time comes in it’s a sweet ballad rock tune that holds you close and doesn’t let go, even when it hits its crescendo. The World I Know^ is a big rock tune I’ve heard on the radio (I’d swear it). It sounds like another tune I can’t name, but maybe that other tune sounds like this one. Betcha that’s the case! Rock on. Dreaming Man is a sweet shuffle swing for drifting through late night prairie highways. Great feel, solid tune!

I’ll Find Someone Who Will could be from any Trews record, a straight up Trews rocker that’s their bread and butter. Yes! Love Is The Real Thing keeps that rockin’ ball rolling with a cool descending chord pattern and all the right elements to have been a single in its own right! Haha did he crack open a beer at the start of Burned? The tune’s perfect for kickin’ back and chillin’ with friends. Perfect mid-tempo track. And finally, You Gotta Let Me In brings acoustics and harmony vocals, our jam for sitting around the campfire after our great afternoon in the sun.

In Sum:

The Trews nail it again. This one says ‘summer’ to me, great tunes perfect for listening in the backyard while bbq grills up supper and the kids run around. Lots of Hope, not one iota of Ruin!

^ This song was a single.

Trews – Highway Of Heroes (Series Post)

The Trews Story Series, Part 5: Highway Of Heroes (2010)

I’ve already covered this in a post here on the KMA back in 2014, but it’s so great, we’re gonna look at it again!

Wiki gives us the details:

Following Acoustic – Friends & Total Strangers the band released the single “Highway Of Heroes”. It was inspired by the 2006 death of Capt. Nichola Goddard, the first Canadian female soldier killed in Afghanistan and a schoolmate of members of the Trews. It refers to the stretch of Highway 401 in Ontario, between CFB Trenton and downtown Toronto, where hundreds gather on bridges and overpasses to mourn soldiers killed in Afghanistan while the bodies of the fallen soldiers are transported from Trenton to the coroner’s office in downtown Toronto.

The song was made available on iTunes in Canada only, with all proceeds from the sales of the song going to the Canadian Hero Fund, a charity that provides academic scholarships to the spouses and children of soldiers killed in combat. In October 2014 “Highway of Heroes” was certified Gold in Canada for sales of over 40,000 digital downloads.

Given that, Highway Of Heroes^ is, of course, a powerful song. It has a real east coast feel to it, with fiddle and accordion rolled, but there’s a martial beat to the drums and then the bagpipes and band take a moment… Not to mention the important message in the lyrics. It resonates and just feels like all of Canada in one song. Truly (Trewly) some of the band’s best work.

It’s just fantastic all over, uplifting, thought provoking and done with care. I’ve put a link for it below, so you can hear for yourself!

The second track on this release, Highway Of Heroes “Live & Acoustic” was recorded live for XM Radio Canada on March 20, 2010 in Austin, TX.

In Sum:

Awesome. Watch it!


Trews – Acoustic: Friends And Total Strangers (Original CD Release)

The Trews Story Series, Part 4: Acoustic – Friends And Total Strangers (2009)

I’ve mentioned this amazing recording in these pages before. This is the first issue (it was later re-released in 2015, we’ll get into that later). Recorded January 30-31, 2009 in the Glenn Gould Theater in Toronto, this is a greatest hits done acoustic and it’s amazing! Let’s go!

Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me stands up well to the acoustic treatment. What an iconic song. The acoustics sound great, the bongo drums are going for it, and MTV is salivating. Den Of Thieves is your first rarity reason to buy this record – it was never released on any other album. It’s fantastic. Of course it is! It sounds like it’s been a hit all along.

The Traveling Kind from Den Of Thieves is brilliant here, When You Leave is pure party track even here, hot damn. What a strong song, pulling you into its swirl and you just let go… Love the guitar solo, and what a rapid-fire pace! I Can’t Stop Laughing brings up the accordion, and it’s gorgeous. Stripping this one down adds power. Imagine!

Locked Doors is your second rarity reason to buy this – once again, a tune never on any other record before this. How was this left off albums? It’s fantastic! Listening to this, you just feel connection, a great message. Incredible. Fleeting Trust is next, and you would think it would work, but it does! Mainly because they make their acoustics rock just as hard as the original version. Stellar version. Gun Control was built to be here, the acoustic intro reminds me of something Days Of The New would’ve done. Anyway, the more I hear it, the stronger it gets. Pay attention, folks. Rock and politics don’t always mix well, but this one nails it.

The crowd is invited to sing along for Tired Of Waiting, and they sure as hell do! Bluesy slow jam acoustic bliss, I love how the song deconstructs itself down to just vocals at the teaser ending. Oh to have been there! The Love You Save follows up, and it’s a bit of R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts arpeggios but a beautiful tune. It’s actually a cover of Joe Tex’ 1966 tune The Love You Save (May Be Your Own). Glory. And, I suppose, your third rarity reason to buy this disc!

Sing Your Heart Out^ is your fourth rarity reason to buy this, also not released on any album before this. And why? Why why why? It’s friggin’ brilliant! “On a night like this” indeed! Man Of Two Minds is next, a natural for inclusion here. The accordion is back, and it all floats along gorgeously. Ishmael & Maggie, as he says from the stage, is their east coast fishin’ and drinkin’ song. I loved it the first time around on the album, and this version here is just as rousing.

So She’s Leaving is our penultimate effort for this release, and it’s a classic Trews tune. The acoustics are slinky, the bongos are going for it, and it’s just beauty in a tune. Hells yes. And this one blends perfectly, via acoustic breakdown, into Hold Me In Your Arms, another bluesy Trews classic off the last record. Yes yes yes!

In Sum:

Holy crap, these guys left nothing to decide. You walk away from this acoustic effort knowing that the songs you know so well as big electric guitar songs are built on chassis strong enough to be acoustic versions that are equally strong. The answer to your question is: yes, the Trews are incredible.

If you don’t own a version of this release, you must do so now. Yesterday, actually!

Trews – No Time For Later

The Trews Story Series, Part 3: No Time For Later (2007)

No Time For Later starts us off with a sweet pop rocker. Is it just my ears or do the harmony vocals near the chorus sound like Def Leppard? Dark Highway is a bluesy rocker straight from the barroom down the road. I could hear Sloan covering this one! Be Love keeps dishing the rock, this time a la the Hives in the intro, then up into the big hand-clapping payoff. I dig it.

I Feel The Rain brings us back a bit, a cool straight-to-radio mid-tempo track with acoustics and an organ in the background. Paranoid Freak^ rules. That fun intro with piano, then it shuffle dances into life and that song ‘gets stuck in your head,’ indeed! Sing along!

I Can’t Stop Laughing^’s intro is pure Clash I Fought The Law. The rest is solid pop rock as only these can do it – with bagpipes! Rousing tune! Man Of Two Minds^ is the obligatory slower tune, the acoustic intro building to full band crashing ballad. Sweet! Hold Me In Your Arms^ brings back the full on blues rawk attack. Damn these guys are incredible with riffs. This song is huge! Love it.

Gun Control is their response to the shootings at Virginia Tech. John-Angus MacDonald said “We were sitting around the apartment and watching all the coverage from CNN and Fox, it just seemed so blatantly obvious they were beating around the bush. The problem was how did this kid have a gun in the first place? It’s a personal and political view from us.” The tune starts off with cool blues guitar, then it blasts into a big rock song with an important message. Hell yes.

Will You Wash Away double-times through its acoustic-driven pop rock course with superb control. I love this tune, it should’ve been a single. End Of The Line slow walks towards its swingin’ pay-off. Get out your lighters and wave ‘em, this one’s a keeper! Burning Wheels is exactly that, holy shit they’re on fire at full speed here! Why wasn’t this one higher up in the album track listing? What a bluesy rock smoker! And finally, Ocean’s End brings us to a close with a great feel but no real rush to get us there. It rocks, it’s huge and epic. Songs like this oughta last forever.

In Sum:

I really dig this record. The singles are rock (natch) solid, and there are a few that should also have seen release as singles. There are fewer songs with the pure rock edge, here, but what’s here is at a new level of maturity that serves them damn well. From top to bottom, this is a great record with a strong vision. Yes!

^ This song was a single.

Trews – Den Of Thieves

The Trews Story Series, Part 2: Den Of Thieves (2005)

The sophomore effort that kicks so much ass!

Fire Up Ahead’s intro tells us to stand by. No way! Lift-off from the get-go! Pure rockin’ with another one of those stellar Trews riffs. Yes! Makin’ Sunshine is another favourite of mine. It builds and builds into a totally damn uplifting mid-tempo tune. It still rocks hard though. Crazy good.

Cry brings in the heavy-hitting bluesy Trews rawk. Have you noticed that every record of theirs plays like a Hits album? It’s true (Trew)! Superb Crowes-ish southern rawk. Sweetness leans on its guitars and they manage just fine, thank you very much. Another solid rocker that crashes to a close oh man!

I Can’t Say^ is such a beautiful song, a slower ballad that builds, of course, because this band is built to go. I swear Colin MacDonald’s vocals sound like Chris Cornell for most of this song, it’s so damn good. So She’s Leaving^ is one we all know well, surely. Big bluesy guitars, straight-on rawk built for radio and greatness. Hells yes.

Yearning^ reels things back in mid-tempo with another beautiful structure and just further proof that other bands have gotta envy these guys. Pure classic. The Pearl (More Than Everything) is sweet pop punk concert crowd lift, until the chorus riff, which grounds us back in the Trews sound. I like this track, but it’s definitely a bit of a departure for them. Good on ‘em!

Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me^ is another one we surely all know well, an iconic tune for the band for sure. Great vocals, hot rawk guitar and shuffle beat. And cowbell! Ana & Mia ventures awesomely into White Stripes territory, that stomping beat and the slinky bluesy guitars… oh my yes… Naked is a gorgeous slow tune, and again those Cornell-like vocals come back. It’s his own voice too, of course, it’s just the first thing that pops into mind.

Montebello Park is definitely a place I wanna go, that fun swingin’ summery opening section which then, of course, takes off into big guitar rock once again. There’s a Beatles-y quality to this one, as well as a 90s rock chord progression in parts… it’s a busy tune! Got Myself To Blame is built for givin’ ‘er, just straight-on rockin’ and no doubt. Go go go! Yes!

The Travelling Kind also has a Beatles-y quality. Cool! It’s a pop rocker that is held together by that rambling bass line that hearkens back to rock’s early days. Layer the Trews over top and it’s a super cool tune. And finally, Ishmael & Maggie ambles along gorgeously while it tells of a broken-hearted sailor. It even has a great crowd sing-along section. A perfect ending to this gigantic record.

In Sum:

Hells yes, this is a classic. Paired with House Of Ill Fame, it’s a one-two punch of early years amazingness. An absolute must own!

^ This song was a single.

Trews – House Of Ill Fame

Who loves you enough to run two series simultaneously? The KMA does! So, while I also go through my treasures in the Beam Me Up Scotty’s Series (posting in the mornings), I am also beginning a run-through of what I have here of the Trews’ amazing discography, in chronological order (posting in the afternoons). Because the Trews rule. And now, as you’ll see, is a good time to give ’em a series treatment…

I am missing some of the early EPs, and maybe some live stuff, but I have all the main albums and most of the other stuff, so it’ll be good fun, eh? Yah!

Truth to tell, I could probably just list all the album titles and use one word: AMAZING to describe them all. But one word is even less than 80, and I’ve already been monkeying with the word count in these pages, so I thought better against it for this series.

Alright, here we go. Brace yourself for some seriously awesome rockin’ with the lads from Antigonish…

The Trews Story Series, Part 1: House Of Ill Fame (2003)

Produced by Gordie Johnson, this is a must-have record. Right off the bat, Every Inambition^ kicks our asses. I just love this song. It riff-rocks hard and is a perfect specimen of the Trews’ sound. Welcome, indeed! Not Ready To Go^ is another huge track, the kind of uplifting concert fist-pumper that will have the crowd singing along with every word. Confessions is a sweet, twisty riff built over tight drums… until the chorus bit, where it goes all sloppy and rockin’! Woo!

When You Leave is another big tune for them, a quick-steppin’ jangle-rocker that is actually one of my favourite of their tunes. Barroom mayhem with great chord changes and a real heart. Hot damn. Tired Of Waiting^ has Gordie Johnson all over it, that swagger beat with the bluesy guitars, and it ain’t a bad thing at all. Love it. Next up it’s Hopeless, which brings out the acoustic guitars and lays down a sweet beat. It’s laid back, and even has bongo-sounding drums. I like the big booming bass drum every four beats. There’s flute over the strings, too! What a track.

Fleeting Trust^ rocks things back up, building and building into the great crashing chorus. Fantastic guitar solo here, oh man. Oh man! Why Bother, propelled by the tom drums and guitar stabs over a rolling bassline becomes a full-tilt rock boogie in no time (and back again). Love it! Black Halo is full-on from the get-go, a solid Trews rocker in the best of their style. I like the Sabbath-y guitar bit there, so cool.

You’re So Sober brings back the acoustic guitars, gently walking along without plodding one bit. It’s a beautiful track, well-placed on the album. Hollis And Morris funks us up, guitar riff then vocals, then the rest of the band. It’s Trews doing Chilis-style funk mayhem and I love it. Bet you can’t listen to this without moving to it! And finally, Strays follows Holis And Morris perfectly, that same funky guitar line rapid-fire leading into the big crash chorus. Can you think of a better way to end this record than more straight up Trews rock? Me neither!

In Sum:

Fuck yes. Get this. Now.


^ This track was a single.

Trews – Acoustic: Friends And Total Strangers Deluxe Reissue

I own this album twice, now. Recorded live at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto in 2009, I bought that year’s 15-track release. It rules. The Trews’ songs translate so damn well acoustic. You know them, you love them!

In 2015, it was re-released with four bonus tracks: Every Inambition, Makin’ Sunshine, No Time For Later, and Not Ready To Go. Now it’s a more complete show! So damn good. I completely recommend that you buy this album! Go! Go now!

The Trews – Highway Of Heroes

Sorry folks, I was remiss. I really should have posted this for Remembrance Day, but it got set aside in a folder and here it is only now.

I love this fantastic song, and this single has the original version and a quite excellent “live and acoustic” version.

Get this.


UPDATE #1: Proceeds from the single go to the Canadian Hero Fund – a charitable organization dedicated to supporting Canadian military personnel and their families.

UPDATE #2: Track 2 recorded live for XM Radio Canada on March 20, 2010 in Austin, TX.

Trews – House Of Ill Fame

It’s about bloody time I wrote about this band.

For the short time that they’ve been in most people’s line of sight, the Trews have surely done one hell of a lot of work to get where they are, releasing three albums in five years and touring everywhere (they even played my pot hole town, so they don’t seem to picky. A gig’s a gig). Seems winning a radio contest was just the boost they needed to get their talent over the top and into your brain. Hell, I remember they even opened for the Stones. Imagine! Not bad for a bunch of young guys from Antigonish. Not that it matters where they’re from, ya know. Their records rock.

You may not have noticed, but I seem to have a thing for first records. I’m convinced that a first record is the nearest example to how a band wanted to sound when they first started dreaming. Before the record companies tell them too much about how they should sound so they can sell more records, before public opinion shifts their perspective, before fame bloats their egos, even before substances mess them up beyond saving (if that happens). A first full record should be the band in their purest form. How many times have you loved a band’s first record to pieces, only to have their sophomore effort bore you by being a re-tread of the first record, or worse, a negative new direction that kills the vibe? Exactly. Countless times. Well, this opening salvo from the Trews will rock you completely. And it should be noted that what I’ve heard of their next efforts are catchy as hell too, so they seem to have bypassed the bullshit. Way to go!

This first effort, House Of Ill Fame, sets their template for rock radio beauty (and eventual immortality, surely), with song after song of great riffs and blistering solos. Just try to stop your toe from tapping, let alone cranking the bloody thing and tearing up the living room as you ricochet about. These tunes, if played loud enough, will shake the walls, piss off the neighbours and scare your cats. Yes! The Trews have a real knack for writing songs that swing, rock and sear like a branding iron on your brain. They can write hooks like nobody’s business. Each one is radio-ready and built to last.

Hell yeah, I like this record. A lot.

Track Listing:
01 Every Inambition
02 Not Ready To Go
03 Confessions
04 When You Leave
05 Tired Of Waiting
06 Hopeless
07 Fleeting Trust
08 Why Bother
09 Black Halo
10 You’re So Sober
11 Hollis And Morris
12 Stray

PS I understand there’s a 2-CD version of this release, with extra songs. Maybe some day I’ll find it somewhere. For now, this one disc is incendiary enough.

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