by C. Familton
TRST is the debut album from Robert Alfons and Maya Postepski, otherwise known as Toronto‘s Trust. Postepski is also a member of Austra and the music she creates here isn’t a million miles from the gothic electronic pop of that band.
The key difference lies in the vocals of Alfons who resembles a vampiric ghostly figure intoning soulless vocals over the album’s neon synth pulse. From Alfons’ voice to the bizarre cover artwork featuring a sad and wasted goth there is a sense of artifice about the album but as the songs bite into your memory cells Trust’s digital sleaze begins to make more sense. Musically this is well worn synth territory that bands like Depeche Mode and Real Life pioneered but mixed with a Euro trance and dark rave aesthetic that sets it aside from the grand electronic gestures of bands like Zola Jesus and Light Asylum. Candy Walls is the closest Trust come to the early electro innocence of a band like Depeche Mode and amid the bleeps and migraine synth wobbles it stands out as their most mature and rewarding moment.
For the most part Trust sound like the dark side of Pet Shop Boys or a psycho-sexual Erasure with only Alfons’ voice taking the music to a different and unsettling place. The erotic industrial disco of This Ready Flesh sounds like Max Headroom getting hot under his pixels while Chrissy E is pure camp dance-floor glitter and pomp. At fifty minutes the premise of TRST is stretched way too thin but there are many moments where the strength of songwriting matches their ambition and art and their dour dance becomes an enticing guilty pleasure.
this review was first published in Drum Media