The weather outside? Frightful. The fire burning at the heart of Trust‘s TRST LP as it comes out of my living room speakers? That’s frightful, too, but in a very delightful way. Robert Alfons, the bleeding heart and haunting soul of Trust has given goth rock a great big bear hug and smothered it in snythpop’s answer to the snuggie, almost to the point of suffocation. It’s taken me some months to come around to appreciating what Alfons and his collaborator, Austra’s Maya Postepski, have done with TRST. I admit that initially I just wrote them off for the outward similarities to Crystal Castles in both sound, style, and genetic makeup, but the more I’ve been exposed to Trust’s frostbitten beats, the greater my fondness has grown for their particular anemic and engaging sound.
The tone on TRST is so icy you could easily slip and fall on “The Last Dregs” and “Bulbform”. On the other end, “Dressed For Space” is pure dancefloor filling bliss, throbbing and swaying. The dark, melodramatic undertones could make the whole thing come off as a stilted pastiche of gloomy, gothic rock, but in Alfon’s hands, Trust sound natural, in their element, like the anthemic pulse of closer “Sulk” was effortlessly tossed off in the moment it was made. Unlike so much in this musical genre, TRST doesn’t sound overly studied or obsessed over, even though the band has been refining and working on their sound and stage show for a couple of years before even venturing to lay down the tracks in recorded form.
Is it a little late to declare an album released back in the dying days of February as my last DiSC of the WEEK for 2012? Late, sure, but better then never acknowledging the fact that this twisted, tender, and spooky record stood out from the crowd this past year.
TRST is released on Arts & Crafts.