COMPANY The Lonely Position Of Neutral
TRUSTcompany were one of the bands frequently playing on O-Rock
109.5 while I was in Florida, and being a sucker for the ‘heavy
verse – melodic chorus’ style of songwriting it was
a name I knew I had to remember, well at least until I got back
to the hotel and could write it down on a piece of paper.
But since I’ve
been back I haven’t shut up about them, mostly because their
music is everything that appeals to me: heavy, emotional, melodic
and fundamentally basic, with great energy and feeling.
Anyway, for a little
background information; TRUSTcompany are a 4-piece from Alabama
who originally ventured out as ‘41Down’. After selling
their first self-released album, they found a larger audience and
eventually their manager managed to wangle them a deal with Geffen.
What’s In A Name?
maybe they were looking to start fresh and move on, or maybe they
were, just like me, sick of the multitude of name/number or number/name
bands emerging. Then again maybe they thought people would confuse
them with clown-punks, Sum*41, but they changed their name to TRUSTcompany.
‘The Lonely Position
Of Neutral’ is a powerful debut album (yes I know they’ve
knocked out an album before, but this is TRUSTcompany’s debut
album though isn’t it) that just seems to get right to the
point of saying ‘This is who we are and this is what we do’.
could be made to Linkin Park, especially with tracks like ‘Figure
8’ and ‘Drop To Zero’, but there is no hip-hop
element or over-production here, just straight, heart-wrenching
emotional hardcore that rarely lasts over three and a half minutes
Opening track, ‘Downfall’
is the first single released from the album, and also the track
that was constantly played in Florida. It’s a powerful opener
and sets you up for the rest of the album with the premise of ‘if
you like this track you’ll like the others’.
I could go on to describe
the track as having a powerful, heavy verse, ‘shouty’
bridge and a melodic chorus, but then that’d pretty much describe
most of the tracks on the album. But that isn’t necessarily
a bad thing when each track is as great as these. There are no frills
here, just straight out rock with enough emotion to make you notice.
A Three Minute Glimpse Of
if you’re not one to listen to the lyrics on an album, the
music gets across just what vocalist/guitarist, Kevin Palmer, was
feeling when he wrote these songs – and I’ll go out
on a limb and say that he was feeling pretty shit. With most of
the lyrics mentioning ‘slipping’, ‘falling’
and ‘fear’ (perhaps he’s got a banana skin phobia?).
Now maybe someone borrowed
his felt-tips and didn’t put the tops back on and they’ve
gone dry, or maybe he kicked his football over his neighbour’s
fence and their dog bit it. But I’ll take a guess that someone
has seriously screwed this guy over and he’s not too happy
about it (“You take me, you break me, you see I’m
falling apart”). But instead of just whinging and playing
lots of open-chord acoustic nonsense he’s transferred that
emotion into something positive – i.e. ROCK!
Now we’re not
talking ‘Broken Wings’ here, but if the basic melodies
of these songs were transferred into a different style of music,
you could probably get quite a smoochy album – but this isn’t
a bad thing. The guitars on ‘The Lonely Position Of Neutral’
are heavy and crunching, with beautiful texture from the 2nd guitar
in the right places.
Tracks such as ‘Falling
Apart’, ‘Running From Me’ and ‘Figure 8’
seem to start out pretty heavy, but soon turn into tear-jerkers,
then quickly snap back into metal again. It’s difficult to
know just what to do at times. I think TRUSTcompany could possibly
be the first band you need to mosh to while holding a pack of tissues.
Well maybe with the exception of Fem2Fem – but for different
‘Slipping Away’ and ‘Deeper Into You’ are
just pure emotion throughout, but are in no way grumpy, whinging
tracks – more just a transferral of negativity into something
powerful and constructive.
is possibly the only track on the album that offers a glimpse of
hope for the future, like things have been crap for ages but then
you start to see that things could possibly get better. Say you’ve
been crying for days and sleeping in your clothes, but then you
wake up one morning and you get a free sample of something through
the door. Of course, following track ‘Deeper Into You’
gives you the impression that Kevin Palmers sample was just a free
tampon or something, but there WAS a glimpse of hope for about 3
Lonely Position Of Neutral’ is a snappy 37 minutes and is
the perfect length for an album like this. Like I said there’s
no messing around with samples and rapping and scratching, it’s
just an album of pure emotion but this doesn’t mean you can
only listen to it when you’re feeling down. The harmonic melodies
used throughout would suit driving on a beautiful sunny day or relaxing
on the beach any time, and I think that’s the beauty of this
Anyone who likes Linkin
Park for their melodies and emo (I’m thinking ‘In The
End’ here) should instantly take a liking to TRUSTcompany.
But if we’re looking for other comparisons think along the
lines of the Deftones mixed with the emotion of Sunny Day Real Estate
and you should get an idea of TRUSTcompany. Or better yet just go
and listen to the some of the songs for yourself.
Some may be put off
by Palmer’s vocals as they’re a little on the ‘loud/shouty
whisper’ side, but they certainly suit the music and only
add to the emotion of each track.
The CD itself features
a multimedia section which includes the video to ‘Downfall’
and the ‘Making of Downfall’ film. Add to that an mp3
of an alternative version of ‘Hover’ and you’ve
got value for money right there.
I keep on saying with
every new album I get lately that it’s one of the best rock
albums I’ve heard in a while and why should I change now?
This IS one of the best rock albums I’ve heard in a while,
just for the fact that I love emo stuff and always have done and
TRUSTcompany have combined all the elements I love in songs and
made a whole album from it.
So maybe I’m
biased because this is just the sort of music I love, but then again
it’s my review and I wouldn’t try to con anyone. This
is truly fantastic album and you should buy it.
Got something to add or comment on?
Click here to discuss it in the eyemachine reviews forum.