Trails - Signs

It's not often I get to review a band and a release name that are both single words, in the plural form. That is my fact for the day kids. Anyway, this is a five song EP by Trials that is coming out on 10" vinyl and CD through those overworked and underpaid chaps at Lockjaw Records. Trials are an upbeat but varied pop-punk outfit that clearly like to move between sounds and explore their obvious plethora of influences.

This 20 minute offering is very heavily vocal led - lead track SHT FKR ends on acapella gang vocals, which speaks volumes about the way these guys operate. The guitars hit me as something between the Walkmen and Small Brown Bike with a bit of Elbow into the mix. To the band's great credit it is very hard to pigeon hole - and in places they do try something a little more intense - the title track has some screamo elements in it.

Signs doesn't quite hit the mark for me though - it lacks a feeling of the band knowing where they are going. It could easily be a compilation EP of several different bands - I can't quite get the feeling that the band are leading me into their world. It's as though there is a conscious effort to conform slightly to an agenda that the band don't need to conform to - this may be the stepping stone for something more of identity, but until then, this is a slightly confusing, albeit fairly solid, move of a band finding their direction.