Music

TRUST: TRST

Dearest Reader, the only thing missing from this "TRST" review is U.


Trust

TRST

Label: Arts & Crafts
US Release Date: 2012-02-28
UK Release Date: 2012-02-27
Label website
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

Whilst playing Trust's musical début a myriad of mysterious mirages materialised from those netherworldly magical boxes dubbed "The speakers". Yet one phantasmagoric illusion lingered longest and strongest. It beheld the mystic shape of the illustrious Count Von Count from Sesame Street. In some freak mishap, it appeared Von Count was inadvertently placed into suspended animation "Walt Disney-stylee" and secretly buried deep beneath layers of "Fraggle" Rock in preservation for future generations. A million moons later a touring starfleet of technotronic robots unearthed him and on the count of "A-wan...A-too...A-free" reawakened our Vaudevillian Vampire. TRST captures that moment. One hour holding court before a captivated audience of androids, raveheart replicants and strobing holograms with one sleepy 'n' croaky Count slowly regaining his mind, soul and erm, "Other sensations".

OK, Trust aren't actually teleporting in from Venus or Romania but chilly Toronto and the voice of Von Count belongs to Robert Alfons who, along with Austra's Maya Postepski, have crafted this fiendishly dark nightcrawler début. The sound of a chilled-out 'n' dug-up caped Compère recalling his halcyon days spent in Goth-friendly basements in saucy Berlin nightclubs circa '84. Hi-NRG basslines, blockrockin' 4/4 beats, pasty faces with vacant stares and an endless fountain of black nail varnish. TRST is no wallflower, it's ready to rumble. From opener "Shoom", its arrival akin to that colossal pyramid battlecruiser that sweeps overhead at the top of Star Wars. Passing so razor-sharp close it gives you a centre parting.

Through the next fifty-minutes stomp one lo-lit club banger after another. "Dressed for Space" (Yes pick up your silver jumpsuit on entry please) conjures up Divine's brief dalliance with disco and is so flamboyantly decadent you half expect Udo Kier to drift by slyly pursing his lips and nursing a Martini. "Put it in the ice box and we'll see" beckons the Count, sorry Alfons, cryptically. Elsewhere "Bulbform" offers a butch remodeling of Crystal Castles' "Courtship Dating" with added secret society, cloaked 'n' masked chanting and a bassline the size of the Titanic. Later the UFO rave dazzler "Glory Hole" ("Mommy, what's a glory hole?.....Ewww") translates the snakecharmer riff from CC's "Baptism" to hypnotic effect and by turns twists from diabolically demonic to ecstatically elevating.

Occasionally Alfon's frosty drawl fades for Postepski's softer yearn and her appearances lift and dissipate the chilly, disconnected ambiance significantly. She illuminates the dry ice and the cavernous "Any colour so long as it's black" manifesto, radiating like some interstellar valentine beamed across the cosmos. "Love push away colour! Push away light!" she hollers on "Shoom". Similarly her cameo on the glitchy, twitchily mechanical "Last Dregs" radiates like divine intervention, a flicker of soul inside the machine. Finally she steers "Chrissy E" into somewhere more soulful than its "Attack of the 'Blue Monday' Clones" birthplace.

There are times when TRST definitely offers more than cheap thrills. Last year's calling-card dreamwave single "Candy Walls" still burns brightly amidst the darkness. Afloat on memory bliss and drifting like Visage's "Fade to Grey" on tiger tranquillizers, it's the voice of your pilot confirming "Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in space". It makes you long for more corners of wistful reflection on Planet TRST. The Austra-esque Mothership "Heaven" offers another highlight. Heavy, narcotic verses blossom into one celestial supernova chorus that feels like the sun imploding. It's planet pop albeit "From a galaxy far, far away". Ditto the engine-room throb of "F.T.F" which struts seductively like Jacko's "Billie Jean" before a hacking 'n' retching interval that sounds like Alfons vomiting his soul and then cheerfully gliding off into Orbital's "E's and Wizz" classic "Chime". "At first she took my hand / Then she took my eyes" sighs Alfons.

Admittedly over eleven tracks, this relentless onslaught of blindin' lazers, thunderdome bass and floorshakin', juggernautin' sonic boom gradually loses its empirical power to dazzle. For all its whistles n' bells TRST sometimes fails to find a connection and occasionally you glimpse the old man wheeling away behind the magical curtain. The Konami-infused Space Invader pulse of "This Ready Flesh" for one borders close to wry Flight of the Conchords synthduo pastiche. I'm sensing homemade robot costumes fashioned from cardboard and tinfoil, and zoom in for our Blue Steel finale, "We! Believe!...In nothing!".

TRST is a sharp 'n' smartly entertaining synth-noir début yet it falls just shy of hitting the truly big numbers. For all its trashtalk of 'Erotomania' and the spooktastic, sleaze-sista goth star on its sleeve threatening to unleash "The horror, the horror", TRST ultimately proves often, well, too cool. A few more genuine surprises and some pirouettes with pace, mood 'n' décor would've raised its score immeasurably. Alfon's Transylvanian tenor only adds to the overall feeling that Trust's tongue is firmly wrapped in cheek. That said, TRST still offers an enjoyable walk on the wild(ish) side and will undoubtedly sound imperial in the clubs. Just brace yourself for the unshakeable suspicion that at any moment your black velveteen host may count to three, whip his cloak overhead and totter back to his castle beneath cartoon lightning and beckoning "Ah listen to them! The children of the night! What music they make!".

6


Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Music

Great Peacock Stares Down Mortality With "High Wind" (premiere + interview)

Southern rock's Great Peacock offer up a tune that vocalist Andrew Nelson says encompasses their upcoming LP's themes. "You are going to die one day. You can't stop the negative things life throws at you from happening. But, you can make the most of it."

Music

The 80 Best Albums of 2015

Travel back five years ago when the release calendar was rife with stellar albums. 2015 offered such an embarrassment of musical riches, that we selected 80 albums as best of the year.

Film

Buridan's Ass and the Problem of Free Will in John Sturges' 'The Great Escape'

Escape in John Sturge's The Great Escape is a tactical mission, a way to remain in the war despite having been taken out of it. Free Will is complicated.

Books

The Redemption of Elton John's 'Blue Moves'

Once reviled as bloated and pretentious, Elton John's 1976 album Blue Moves, is one of his masterpieces, argues author Matthew Restall in the latest installment of the 33 1/3 series.

Music

Whitney Take a Master Class on 'Candid'

Although covers albums are usually signs of trouble, Whitney's Candid is a surprisingly inspired release, with a song selection that's eclectic and often obscure.

Music

King Buzzo Continues His Reign with 'Gift of Sacrifice'

King Buzzo's collaboration with Mr. Bungle/Fantômas bassist Trevor Dunn expands the sound of Buzz Osborne's solo oeuvre on Gift of Sacrifice.

Music

Jim O'Rourke's Experimental 'Shutting Down Here' Is Big on Technique

Jim O'Rourke's Shutting Down Here is a fine piece of experimental music with a sure hand leading the way. But it's not pushing this music forward with the same propensity as Luc Ferrari or Derek Bailey.

Music

Laraaji Returns to His First Instrument for 'Sun Piano'

The ability to help the listener achieve a certain elevation is something Laraaji can do, at least to some degree, no matter the instrument.

Music

Kristin Hersh Discusses Her Gutsy New Throwing Muses Album

Kristin Hersh thinks influences are a crutch, and chops are a barrier between artists and their truest expressions. We talk about life, music, the pandemic, dissociation, and the energy that courses not from her but through her when she's at her best.

Music

The 10 Best Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums

Fleetwood Mac are the rare group that feature both a fine discography and a successful series of solo LPs from their many members. Here are ten examples of the latter.

Music

Jamila Woods' "SULA (Paperback)" and Creative Ancestry and Self-Love in the Age of "List" Activism

In Jamila Woods' latest single "SULA (Paperback)", Toni Morrison and her 1973 novel of the same name are not static literary phenomena. They are an artist and artwork as galvanizing and alive as Woods herself.

Film

The Erotic Disruption of the Self in Paul Schrader's 'The Comfort of Strangers'

Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.

Music

'Can You Spell Urusei Yatsura' Is a Much Needed Burst of Hopefulness in a Desultory Summer

A new compilation online pulls together a generous helping of B-side action from a band deserving of remembrance, Scotland's Urusei Yatsura.

Music

Jess Cornelius Creates Tautly Constructed Snapshots of Life

Former Teeth & Tongue singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius' Distance is an enrapturing collection of punchy garage-rock, delicate folk, and arty synthpop anthems which examine liminal spaces between us.

Books

Sikoryak's 'Constitution Illustrated' Pays Homage to Comics and the Constitution

R. Sikoryak's satirical pairings of comics characters with famous and infamous American historical figures breathes new and sometimes uncomfortable life into the United States' most living document.

Music

South African Folk Master Vusi Mahlasela Honors Home on 'Shebeen Queen'

South African folk master Vusi Mahlasela pays tribute to his home and family with township music on live album, Shebeen Queen.

Music

Planningtorock Is Queering Sound, Challenging Binaries, and Making Infectious Dance Music

Planningtorock emphasizes "queering sound and vision". The music industry has its hierarchies of style, of equipment, of identities. For Jam Rostron, queering music means taking those conventions and deliberately manipulating and subverting them.

Music

'History Gets Ahead of the Story' for Jazz's Cosgrove, Medeski, and Lederer

Jazz drummer Jeff Cosgrove leads brilliant organ player John Medeski and multi-reed master Jeff Lederer through a revelatory recording of songs by William Parker and some just-as-good originals.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.