Style: Covers the spectrum – from hard-edged prog to neo to Celtic and Nordic progressive folk.
Rating: 4 / 5
Summary: Something for everyone here, with strong melodic hooks.
Trusties shares members with Aquaplan, also a Finnish prog band (see our review of Aquaplan’s Paperimeri). And while Aquaplan plays pleasing, approachable prog, Trusties are a more challenging listen. This CD may not click as quickly as Paperimeri did, but when it does, it becomes a rewarding listen.
Track 1 “Overture” is more than its title suggests – it is also one of the most interesting tracks on the album. Imagine this: There’s a simple passage featuring piano over distorted guitar. A well crafted shift moves into delicate piano over a theme played on cello alternating with clarinet, then – abruptly – the distorted guitar is trading a simple riff with a trumpet, while the piano gets into a light jazzy piece held far back in the mix, and it all migrates into a piano / cello duet. And that all happens in the space of just three minutes! Here’s another: “A Different White” is a successful combination of unusual components – djembes (a kind of percussion instrument), prominent almost funky bass guitar, strummed acoustic guitars, and a haunting melody.
For some listeners, the vocals will take a bit of getting used to. The accent isn’t too prominent and the folksy timbre is uncommon in this genre. It settles on you after several listens, though, and the melodies are particularly memorable. Guitar work is a strong point on this CD, with long solos and many acoustic sections. To fully appreciate this album you’ll need to concentrate on the instrumentation, the songwriting, and the wide variances from song to song. With all these contrasts, Trusties will keep you on your toes: Progressive sections with complex time signatures and restless tempo shifts alternate with Simpler passages. Acoustic and electric instrumentation coexist in uncommon arrangements. Vocally oriented songs are spliced unpredictably with complex instrumentals.
There are 13 tracks over 59 minutes ranging from a minute and a half to eleven minutes. We Just Want To Rule The World is song-oriented music with interesting variety that manages to remain reasonably cohesive. But that variety defies comparison with other bands. You’ll just have to hear it!