If someone recommended a band to me that had released records on both the Sacred Bones label and Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts imprint, I’d have to admit I’d find it hard to imagine what they might sound like. Sure, both companies have pretty diverse rosters, but they also have pretty well-defined – and altogether different – group identities. One is best-known for its dark, slightly seedy avant-rock, most of its output pulling from punk, heavy psych and industrial noise; the other is home to a sprawling collective of interlinked groups and artists pushing guitar-led indie pop and folk into beardy, experimental territory. Toronto duo Trust – Maya Postepski and Robert Alfons – don’t fit neatly into either label’s overall aesthetic, but then they don’t really sound like they belong anywhere. Because whilst you can hear faint echoes of artists like Hercules And Love Affair, Glass Candy, Zola Jesus (all of whom, incidentally, the band have supported during the past year) and Austra (who Maya also drums for) on their almost-eponymously titled debut album TRST, the pair’s bizarre mix of up-tempo electronic beats, warped synths and morose, gothic pop sounds utterly, thrillingly alien. Stuttering opener “Shoom” is immediately disorientating, its 808 bass stabs, glassy minor-key keyboard arpeggios and treated European-sounding vocals evincing a post-op Fever Ray, but the following “Dressed For Space” is weirder still: with Alfons’ distorted croon and a pounding disco beat vying for the spotlight, it’s hard to shake the mental image of Marilyn Manson and Erasure’s Andy Bell bonding over a bottle of amyl nitrate at a Berlin S&M club. Elsewhere, “The Last Dregs” is slinky, skittering techno with a killer big-room bleep hook, “Bulbform” and “Sulk” thump like New Order in an acid-house K-hole, whilst the mournful, dubbed-out “Candy Walls” (that Sacred Bones single from last year) sounds like Depeche Mode scoring Bladerunner. Fans of Cold Cave and Crystal Castles in particular will doubtless find much to love about TRST’s sleek, menacing electro-pop, but whether your ideal night out involves zoning out on a dirty dancefloor or getting fisted in a basement dungeon there’s bound to be something here to get your blood pumping.
TRST is out February 28 on Arts & Crafts