Trusted Few

And Then We Forgot

Written by: PP on 16/11/2010 15:13:11

When it comes to Danish screamo/post-hardcore, there's one band above the others when counting the size of their fanbase: Trusted Few. Demo of the month in Gaffa alongside two EPs and a widely acclaimed live performance have fueled this band farthest of all Danish post-hardcore bands, a trend which is likely to continue with their long awaited debut album "And Then We Forgot". In a nutshell, it's an album that's easily their best work to date, when viewed from an objective standpoint, but also one that's likely to divide their fan base into two camps, because the simplistic, straight-forward sound of their EPs, which relied largely on few pop-catchy choruses here and there, as been replaced with a more complex, at times progressive sound, one that takes quite a few listens to stomach probably. Too many for a couple of my fellow scribes who had lined up for this release before me, and hence it was decided that I'd be the one jotting down words for this one as well.

There are two aspects about "And Then We Forgot" that stand clearly above other factors. Firstly, every member in the band has one-upped their individual performance by a whole lot more than any of us had expected. Johan's screams are fuller and more abrasive than before, providing a great contrast to Andreas' ever-improving clean vocal effort. And when so required, the former's cleans work as a nice additional layer to the latter's work, breaking into ravaging screams at an excellent timing all around the album. Andreas' clean vocals, however, are one of the keys to making this album succeed, because they're quite a bit different to what we're used to hearing from him in the past. Instead of just flying high above the soundscape delivering the pop choruses I mentioned earlier, he now uses a much more subtle approach, one where he adds a line or two (like the "I shot the sheriff" cleans in "Did It Go Well") that really prolong the longevity and repeat-listen value of the songs. Don't worry though, he's still singing in high notes, landing them pitch-perfect even more often than in his previous work. Drummer Adam throws in some sweet rolls as well, matching his drum patterns to the music very well, often varying tempo and style where necessary to give the songs some beefy muscle and versatility. But it's their lone guitarist Philip who owns the title of the largest improvement thus far, coming up with creative and original riffs in pretty much every song on the album. But not just that, he's really come into his own signature sound here, creating a tone and a style that is likely going to evolve into the 'Trusted Few sound once these guys put out more albums. Whether it's a groovy melody, a technical lead riff or a punishing breakdown, it all flows organically and sounds natural in all places.

Secondly, "And Then We Forgot" owns one of the best production jobs I've heard from an independent Danish band to date. It's clean, it's rich in detail, and it has power when necessary, but yet it contains all the instruments and vocals near-perfect in the mix, each allowed enough space to extend their wings to full span, but not too much as to sound artificially inflated or needlessly epic. Just a great job overall behind the knobs, one of the major reasons why the songs here leave their old material sounding amateurish in comparison. The other one being the humongously improved songwriting, of course. No wonder they rarely play any of the old songs live these days; the ones here are simply that much better.

The only problem I foresee here is that whereas a track like "Dance, Dance" stuck to mind almost on first listen, "And Then We Forgot" requires one to pay much more attention for the same to happen. The songs are less predictable and less obvious as a result, requiring an ability from the listener to appreciate the little intricacies in the instrumental side, but also more rewarding in the long run. It sounds a lot different, so there's a bit of a learning groove, which is going to be the big question regarding this album in the coming months: does the Danish music scene - also those not yet familiar with Trusted Few - adopt this album en masse, or is the disc simply too challenging for the (sometimes) simple tastes of people residing in this country? It's an interesting question to which I have no answer just yet. Time will tell.

Download: Victor Is Always The Author, Did It Go Well
For the fans of: Knife Of Liberty, Lights In Reverse, UnderOATH
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.10.2010

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