Monday, 27 July 2015

A Trust Unclean - ‘Reality Relinquished’ EP (Review)

‘The whole EP is so energetic, inspiration seems to bleed from every available crevice; here is a band basking in a creative flourish.’

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 07/08/2015
Label: Self Released 

‘Reality Relinquished’ EP track  listing:  

1). Enucleation”
2). “Feckless Traditions”
3). “Perverse Agenda”
4). “Insipient Catastrophe”
5). “Reality Relinquished

A Trust Unclean

Joe Corky | Vocals
Steve Hunt | Guitar
Mikey Gee | Guitar
Bobby Hembrow| Bass
Scott Horne | Drums


Music such as this is savage by design, and with a name like A Trust Unclean, you expect this band’s sonic assault to be as rough and splintering as a hangover after a four day absinthe binge. But what has surprised me with the Oxfordshire band’s ‘Reality Relinquished’ EP is just how much character lurks in their overtly guttural and uncivilised demeanour.  Never at any point do they get lost in that unquenched desire to be heavier than Satan’s bollocks and forget about the key assets in melody, structure and imagination. The songs snap every which way, like Steve Irwin – God bless his crazy, crazy soul – wrestling an unsuspecting alligator, but the way, in which these compositions are constructed, you end up sucked into its ebb and flow almost instantly. 

‘Perverse Agenda’ is underpinned by low strung grooves which are interjected by Joseph Corcoran’s hoarse vocals and fly-in-a-glass whizzing fret board runs. The whole EP is so energetic, inspiration seems to bleed from every available crevice; here is a band basking in a creative flourish.

Blast beats, when you venture down heavier roads such as this, can so often be an all-out matter of quantity outweighing quality. But here, especially on ‘Incipient Catastrophe’, Scott Horne’s footwork is deft, intricate and all over the place, tighter than a gnats arse yet so fluent. It gives the songs a chaotic undercurrent, but a chaos that is well organised and executed. It’s these stuttered rhythms, despite the crushing countenance of the overlaying guitars that give this record so much of that aforementioned character. Without it, this would just be a heavy record, another one for the pile of ‘just noise without anything going for it’ records in existence.   

On the title track it is guitarists Steve Hunt and Mikey Gee who impress the most. From the pained lead lines to the Gojira pick scrapes, bursts of tremolo picking and all-round complexity – the tab of this no doubt resembling something akin to a child let loose with a label gun – here are two guitarists with their heads firmly leading, their macro intellect and vision the way. Showmanship isn’t really an egotistical presence here, for any of the musicians. This is a collective effort and, yes, there are moments of brilliant individualism, but it is as a collective where they are strongest, no one ever takes the limelight for more than each particular section requires.

With five songs all either three or four or five minutes long, the EP flies by. It’s a wham-bam-thank-you-mam of technical and devastating death metal. The juxtaposing smile that broadens your gob while listening speaks volumes. Honestly speaking, I’m not too enamoured by this end of the metal spectrum – it’s something I dip in and out of from time to time – so for a band of this calibre to capture my imagination, to have me excited as this record does is, from a personal stand point at least, a pretty darn good achievement.

It is heavier than Satan’s bollocks, but it’s fun and very well written too.

Words: Phil Weller

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