Tim's TRUSTco Page
Geffen Records

TRUST COMPANY The Lonely Position Of Neutral
CD review

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?
Now 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’.

Instant comparisons 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 per track.

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 Hope
Even 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 reasons.

‘Hover’, ‘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.

‘The Fear’ 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 minutes.

Shouty Whispers
The 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 album.

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 here 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.


david twomey

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The Lonely Position Of Neutral

$9.99 | Buy It