Judging by the boldness of their choices, you’d never guess the Trews are 10 years, five studio albums and thousands of gigs into their highly celebrated career. Clearly, someone forgot to tell them that bands are supposed to become more predictable as the years go by, not less so.
And yet, evidence of a stubborn refusal to play it safe abounds, most notably in the East Coast-bred, Toronto-based rock squad’s eponymous, electrifying new disc, The Trews. It tallies so many firsts that even band members Colin MacDonald, John-Angus MacDonald, Sean Dalton and Jack Syperek cop to being a smidge flabbergasted by their own achievements, 13 Top 10 Canadian radio singles (including two #1s) notwithstanding.
There is, first and foremost, the assured manner in which it was written (through the lens of real life), underwritten (by fan support) and recorded (super-fast alongside marquee producer Gavin Brown). Guests bring flourish – witness Serena Ryder’s smoky vocals on ‘In the Morning,’ a contemplative almost-ballad with lyrics co-written by singer/guitarist Colin MacDonald and his pal, songwriting dynamo Simon Wilcox and buoyed by cellist Anne Bourne’s melancholic accompaniment.
Add in the fact that of late the Trews have been piling up the accolades touring acoustically despite being certified rock brawlers and the net result is something you just don’t see every day: proverbial old dogs issuing some seriously new tricks.