Trophy Scars, it’s fair to say, don’t believe in doing things by halves. In fact, they’re more inclined to do things in doubles. The upcoming album from the Morristown, New Jersey quartet, Holy Vacants, was initially worked up as a 35-page screenplay treatment by vocalist and lyricist Jerry Jones, and is conceptually even more ambitious than 2011’s Never Born, Never Dead EP, which took reincarnation as its theme. Want some evidence of this? Then look no further than the free download of the new song “Hagiophobia”.
For the band’s fourth album, Jones, John Ferrara (guitarist), Andy Farrel (bass player) and Brian Ferrara (drummer) use as a springboard a bizarre cocktail of mythology, ancient religion and conspiracy theory surrounding the Nephilitic gene. The album tells the tale of two lovers who have discovered not only that the blood of angels contains the fountain of youth but also the formula for Qeres, an ancient Egyptian perfume claimed to be the only substance that can kill angels and Nephilites, who are supposedly the offspring of angel/human unions. Armed with this knowledge and a supply of precious Qeres, the couple embarks on a killing spree, drinking spilled Nephilitic blood to stop growing old.
Jones’ narrative may be conceptually out-there, but it doesn’t fence the album in and stands as a metaphor for far simpler and more widely recognized issues – the idealization of youth, loss of identity and corrupted innocence. It’s also his personal way of drawing a line under an intense past relationship.
“I didn’t want to write something so direct and specific that I had to follow the story the whole way through,” the singer explained. “When it boils down to it, the themes are applicable to romantic love songs. The album was really an exorcism of a relationship with a girl I had proposed to, and it was about being so in love with somebody that they literally destroy you. The only way I know how to go through that kind of therapy is to present it as art. I had to write the album as a way of exorcising this person from my mind and soul.”