CD Review: Terrible Things S/T

Terrible Things is a new modern rock supergroup consisting of Fred Mascherino (Taking Back Sunday), Josh Eppard (Coheed and Cambria) and Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit). Their new self-titled album is out now through Universal Motown and the band leaves on tour next week for a month long jaunt with Streetlight Manifesto.

Though the band didn’t initially set out to do a concept album, this is how the debut record took shape.  The song themes are centered on a series of fires that haunted Fred’s former hometown, the depressed Pennsylvania steel-millburgh of Coatesville, PA. A reign of arson terror scorched the more modest neighborhoods of Chester County from 2007-2009. “I was just struck by the helplessness,” says Fred. “Growing up there I remember the decay, but this was such a mindless thing, symptomatic maybe, of pure hopelessness.”

The first remarkable achievement evident on the record is how explosive the chemistry is between the members. Despite coming from three different successful bands in their own right, egos have taken a beat seat to the greater good. The trio sounds like they’ve been playing together for years, yet there is an excitement in this music that makes it clear they are in their honeymoon phase.  Produced by Jason Elgin, the record is a sonic triumph. The second achievement is their successful generation of volatile modern rock that does not ignore strong melodic hooks. Each song plays like an anthem with driving verses escorting us to giant arena-ready choruses. With intelligent lyrics and attention to melody, Terrible Things fills a crater in the current musical landscape. Hard hitting highlights include “Revolution”, “Up At Night”, and the title track. On the power ballad side, don’t miss “Lullaby” and “Been Here Before”. The quirky verses in “Conspiracy” come as a bit of an uncertain surprise, but – wait for it – that chorus is gold.

On the title track they sing, “We’re doing terrible things”. On the contrary, what this band is doing is terrific and I hope they don’t change a thing.

iPod-worthy: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10

Terrible Things on MySpace. Official site.

Check out the video for “Revolution” on YouTube.