"Higher Hopes" by Trust ClubReview
It's been quite a while since I last wrote about Trust Club in the magazine (not since their Live EP was reviewed back in November of last year) and so I'm pleased to get the chance to tell you about their new release "Higher Hopes" which is also a taster for the ‘This Is Trust Club' EP which will be out in full on August 23rd.
Though still a trio, the lineup has been tweaked a bit since their last release & that of "Untelligent Behaviour" before that (a song you can also find on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Seven' and now features Noah TH on bass and vocals in addition to Matt Good on guitar & vocals and Ali Hutton on drums and vocals (you certainly have not been deprived of reviews of Ali's musical prowess lately though: I've written about both live & studio work with Monday Nights and live work with Danny Ansell: a busy man).
Though self describing as "slacker rock", there is plenty of evidence of both hard work & stringent quality control having been part of the picture (Trust Club certainly have not released terribly much, but what they have, has been worthy of their talents).
This is certainly rock however, albeit inclined more to the witty & cerebral end of the spectrum (they cite Pavement & Weezer among their inspirations) and with an airy arrangement, each instrument playing off each other: overall producer Nathan Morris (Matt recorded the bass & guitars himself) giving the track plenty of space inside for sounds to linger within & thus impact upon us. The band report that it's already a live favourite (and isn't that one of the most important tests?) with audiences already singing along. When you get that phenomenon before a song's even been released, you're surely onto something special. It's all about connection really.
I suppose most artists we write about in the magazine disdain being pigeonholed: they don't seem to do that to their own music (though I concede that occasionally they have to help new recruits out with a few pointers) and in return I try to reflect that, again with just enough suggestions to start you off, before you inevitably play each song after reading my review: which I hope you do. There are various stylistic nuggets picked out: in addition to Weezer or Pavement stylings, there are regular grunge type moments where the instruments suddenly lurch and throw you off balance (plus a very Nirvana guitar motif) & overall not only are the thankfully discernible lyrics a little different to standard rock ones, the refrain bits are positively pop. The mixture is compelling.
The themes are I think clustered around confidence & positivity: the will power of optimism helping driving us towards meeting aspirations regardless of bumps met on the road ("don't be scared of failure") as negativity breeds self fulfilling prophecies. The hopes seem not merely to relate to career achievements but also to the process itself: enjoying the moments along the way & presumably not being afraid to be light hearted or show that you are having fun. In some ways I wonder if they are satirising the more dour type of rock? At any rate, they sound like they practice what they preach in this regard.
I regret having yet to catch Trust Club live & hence participate in the singalongs. They have however been out there playing without my presence and some good high profile gigs too: since the start of 2022 they've performed at Coventry's HMV Empire, opened for US band Weakened Friends, supported Supermilk in London, Cosmit in Oxford as well as a rotating 2022 headline tour with Palps and Sorry Park, a main support slot with Me Rex and a 2023 tour with Palps and Covent . Not surprisingly, the band are planning shows across the UK in support of the EP. Hopefully I'll be there & so will some of you.