A second album, often referred to in the music world as “the sophomore release,” can be a career-killer for many bands who achieved commercial and critical acclaim with their first. Often attempting to live up to the expectations set by their first album, many bands fall victim to first-album hype and droughts of creativity, resulting in a release that doesn’t sit well with fans of the first record: what many know as the sophomore slump.
Portland, Oregon’s, Fallen Trees, who unanimously wowed critics with 2006’s Fanfare, was set to release their second effort this July; however a recent press-release suggests that the record fans will receive will in fact be the group’s third; the band opting to never release their fully-recorded second.
“We figured, ‘Why bother letting people decide if we can put out two consecutively good records, when we can just write, record, and master the second one, never release it, and move onto our third,'” says bassist Paul Steiner. “No sophomore slump for Fallen Trees.”
By making it publicly known that there exists a second record, but that fans will never hear it, the band believes fans will embrace the new record with more leniency. “They’ll never get a chance to be harsh with our follow-up, so they can never label us a one trick pony. They don’t know what’s on that CD, and they never will,” adds guitarist and primary songwriter Elliott White.
Some fans are highly enthusiastic about the plan. “It’s genius!” exclaims fanclub member Ryan Elliger, “I mean, if you’re out there searching for interesting release strategies, look no further. This is how its done. The guys are clearly thinking long-term, too. You just know that twenty years from now, after ten Fallen Trees albums are all unanimous classics, they’ll pull the second one out and be like, ‘Remember this?’ I’ll remember. I’ll remember.”
No. 3 will be released this July. Publications assert that the album will undoubtedly be awful, since the band is so concerned with its reception. And though some are amped for the new record, many fans have already decided that this band sucks.