On Tuesday night, Los Angeles’ Echoplex transformed into a dance club hosted by the rapidly-ascenting promoter Check Yo Ponytail 2. The lineup was excellent, consisting of the lovely Danish Oh Land, the eccentric Blood Orange, and the dark sounds of TRUST.
For those of you who have not heard TRUST before, picture a mix of house music and gothic new wave of the ‘80s. While listening to the Toronto-based duo’s debut full-length, TRST, I imagine band members Robert Alfons and Maya Postepski performing at a seedy after hours club in New York City circa 1980, sweat dripping off their faces as they produced heavy, hard-hitting electronica to a sea of strung out party monsters, jonesing for human contact. And to be quite honest, that’s exactly what I was hoping for in their performance Tuesday. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out that way.
A third member accompanied the two-piece on synthesizer, allowing Alfons to focus on his vocals with Postepski behind the drum kit. Musically, the group killed it. Each song was executed flawlessly (and loud). Alfons’ vocals seamlessly ranged from an Ian Curtis-esque drone to falsetto wails as Postepski’s dead-on rhythm kept the beat. But although TRUST produces electronic music, it’s not all necessarily dance worthy, which I found out during the band’s performance. The trio began its set with a couple slower paced tunes to get in the groove, while the Echo Park audience stood, rigid. It wasn’t until the group started playing “Dressed for Space,” its most upbeat, catchy dance track, that the crowd got excited and began to dance. From there, the band transitioned into its single, “Bulfbaform,” heightening the sweaty dance party I was so looking forward to. However, this flailing orgy was short-lived, coming to a screeching halt when the Canadian electro-ravers switched back to their heavy, buzzing, bass-heavy tracks.
Some critics have commented on TRUST releasing its debut album for itself rather than for an audience, and the same could be said about the performance. Alfons was in a trance, gyrating as if he was suffering a seizure, but there was disconnect with the audience. Nobody in the band said a single word to its fans while onstage (and there was a good turnout considering TRUST was the first band of the night). For this, I was disappointed, but as I left the Echoplex, I wanted nothing more than to get in my car and blast the album on my drive home.
TRUST is currently on a North American tour before heading to the UK in May. Below is a list of tour dates.
4/11 Costa Mesa, Ca - Detroit Bar
4/12 San Francisco, Ca - Popscene
4/13 Seattle Wa, Electric Tea Garden
4/14 Vancouver, BC - Electric Owl
4/15 Portland, Or - Rotture
4/17 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
5/10 Brighton, UK - Psychosocial
5/12 Brighton, UK - Above Audio