Thursday 13 October 2022

Trust - Propaganda (2022)

Country: France
Style: Hard Rock
Rating: 9/10
Release Date: 30 Sep 2022
Sites: Facebook | Metal Archives | Wikipedia | YouTube

Bernie Bonvoisin is back with another Trust album, this time with an incendiary cover that I can't say isn't timely. As always, everything here is in French and I'm not seeking out translations of the lyrics, so I can only assume that there's plenty of sociopolitical commentary in play. That wouldn't be surprising for Trust. Certainly the verbose title of the opening track, Cette prière sur tes lèvres et ce sang sur tes mains translates to This Prayer on Your Lips and This Blood on Your Hands. It's no stretch to imagine what that's about.

I did go as far as throwing the band's French Wikipedia page into Google Translate, as the English language version hasn't noticed this album yet, even though it came out on a major label, Season of Mist last month. As with their previous album Fils de lutte and, I believe, the one before that, it was recorded pretty much live, with minimal overdubs, the entire recording process taking only a week, and that live urgency is there in the sound. It's easy to carried away by songs like Le jour se lèvera and Salaud d'pauvre. There are also lots of moods here, as if this grew in the playing.

I found that initially I started out listening to individual songs. The opener is a strong one, Bernie explaining things to us. There's a voice box here and some soulful backing vocals, that are one of my favourite aspects to this album—I wish I knew who to credit for them—and the result feels like a seventies song that we don't remember. That's certainly the goal of the next track, which is faux early AC/DC. It's Tout ce qui nous sépare, or All That Separates Us, and it's as tight as it needs to be.

La première pierre, or The First Stone, brings those female backing vocals back and they're joyous. They're just as great on Dimanche soir au bord du gouffre (Sunday Night on the Brink) and Petite elle (Little She) and especially on Les vagins impatients, where they don't sound remotely like the Impatient Vaginas of the title, even though they really cease to be backing vocals here to take on the most prominent role, if not the lead. What's more, it's not an impatient song, not mellow but certainly a lot closer to it than impatient. It's one of many highlights for me, as indeed it was last time out too.

Talking of Petite elle, it's a bluesy ballad with an tinge of country and it highlights how the moods shift here. This is a rollercoaster of an album, a relatively calm one because they don't rock out to the max as often as we might expect, but it takes us up and down and we get caught up in the ride until we lose track of the fact that there are individual songs and start to just imagine the album as the soundtrack of our lives. I guess that's what closer Ma vie is all about, simply My Life. To the French hard rock audience, I guess Trust are a serious part of their lives, having been around for a long time, formed in 1977.

Bonvoisin is one of two founder members who have been with the band throughout, even though they've split up at least four times. The other is guitarist Norbert Krief, who's as rock solid as ever here. I'd suggest that, even with some of the harder rocking numbers located at the beginning of the album, this feels like Bonvoisin's show early but gradually shifts to Krief and Ismalia Diop, the other guitarist nowadays.

They nail that Angus Young guitar sound in Tout ce qui nous sépare and render it even more old school rock 'n' roll on Dimanche soir au bord du gouffre, which is arguably the point where this becomes a guitar album. Le jour se lèvera opens with vicious slices of riffage while Petite elle chills out with glorious swells. Both feature astounding solos, as does Le conteur, The Storyteller. They even leap into a punk blitzkrieg on L'Europe des 27, Bonvoisin reasserting his prominence behind the mike.

From there, I gave up taking notes because this feels like Trust just having a blast in the studio and it's blissful, as if they'd stopped writing songs and just let the music flow through them. Instead I'd acknowledged how much better this is than the last album. That's not to suggest that Fils de lutte wasn't a good one because it was, but it wasn't a great one and this is. I was lost halfway through and it was even better on the second time through. This is top notch Trust and I'm going to need to spend the next couple of days with it feeding my body. Does this come in IV form?

No comments:

Post a Comment