Doppelgänger is 10 years old!
01. I Just Got This Symphony Goin’
02. Act One, Scene One
04. “You Got a Death Wish, Johnny Truant?”
05. Mouths Like Sidewinder Missiles
06. The Hol[ ]y Tape…
07. Laces Out, Dan!
08. We Better Learn to Hotwire a Uterus
09. Whacko Jacko Steals the Elephant Man’s Bones
10. Tom Waits
11. Macaulay McCulkin
There are several factors that can make a great album. Sometimes one will blow you away by the sheer genius of their composition. Sometimes one perfectly represents an important feeling or particular time in your life. Sometimes one will do something so new or revolutionary that everyone has to take notice.
Sometimes one will make your mouth hang open at its sheer audacity. Ten years ago today, a startlingly young band called The Fall Of Troy dropped a record called Doppelgänger and did just that.
The focal point of their virtuosity, and just 20 at the time (and the eldest of the three), frontman Thomas Erak – a whirlwind of hair and fingers; part spider and part banshee – showed he could do things no normally-functioning human should be able to. From the very first verse of the suitably-titled “I Just Got This Symphony Goin’“, his incredible ability to perform such fast, complex guitar parts – both spidery leads and quick-change chords – is apparent, and it barely lets up throughout. Having seen them perform the whole thing only yesterday, front to back, he could and still can do it all at once, and it’s quite honestly astounding.
What’s more, five of Doppelgänger‘s eleven tracks were re-recorded versions of earlier tracks from as many as two years previously (hence the name Doppelgänger). The further back you go the more impressive it is really.
Chock full of songs cryptically named after a plethora of pop culture references, each has its one unique hook; a riff or rhythm that marks it out and makes it instantly recognisable, but honestly there’s so much going on in every track that there’s much to be discovered on repeat listens. Not just the Thomas Erak show, drummer Andrew Forsman keeps the rhythms full bodied and quick, acting more like the opponent in a duel than an accompaniment, and he more than keeps up with the guitars in breathless fashion, absolutely smacking the shit out of his kit.
The album’s post-hardcore style suits all this perfectly, often slipping from caterwauling aggression to crooning groove in the space of a line. How they keep it up for nearly forty-five minutes is mind boggling, and you’ll likely be absolutely exhausted by the end. Ten years on, it’s as essential as ever, so give it a try and get ready for the band’s new chapter.