Billboard (p.63) - "These are brash, stomping, mostly hard-rocking songs played with the defiant energy of a group making not only its latest but possibly its last shot."
"They say a bad song gets stuck in your head," says the protagonist in "Paranoid Freak," the first single from the Canadian quartet's third release. The band needn't worry, though, since there aren't any substandard tunes among the 13 rocking tracks here, yet they all stick in your head nonetheless. The four-piece has smoothed out its sound somewhat, although it's obvious the bandmembers learned valuable lessons from Jack Douglas, who produced their previous release. These songs connect like the '80s hard rockers -- such as Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, and Aerosmith (all previous Douglas projects) -- that inspired them, and even at 13 tracks, there is no filler. The guitars churn up a thick stew somewhat similar to Foreigner in their prime, as lead singer Colin MacDonald does his best to avoid sounding too much like Eddie Vedder channeling Chris Cornell, although sometimes unsuccessfully. A few acoustic-based strummers such as "Will You Wash Away" and even a ballad lighten the attack, but the Trews' strength is in the hooky rock that dominates the set list. Each cut sports a singalong chorus custom-made for the arenas the group hasn't graduated to...yet. MacDonald's throaty voice takes the spotlight, but the real focus is the tunes. They nimbly balance between commercial pop and tougher rock without falling into either camp, and would sound nearly as impressive stripped of electricity. The band's love of Creedence Clearwater Revival, both lyrically and musically, is exposed on the swampy "I Feel the Rain," but just as effective is the Cheap Trick-styled rave-up "Burning Wheels," a nearly perfect sizzler to get your own wheels burning over the speed limit. This juicy '80s concoction is deceptively difficult to pull off, but the Trews make it seem easy. Perhaps rawer production would have provided an additional edge, but tough choruses such as the one on the opening title track instantly stick in your head, and are reminiscent of the glory days of this genre without sounding a bit retro. ~ Hal Horowitz