REVIEW

Trust ’em! A handful of singles and we can already talk about the next big thing in power-pop. A lot of bands come and go, but this time Music Match Magazine, a guru like Gary Crowley – who started to deal with music before turning twenty, when he founded the new wave fanzine “The Modern World” – and the watchful independent blog Fresh On The Net, founded by Tom Robinson that forty years after his record “Power in the Darkness” has not stopped discovering new talents, whom he gladly brings to his show on BBC Radio 6, all jumped enthusiastically on the car still running in.

We know very little of the four young Trusted so far. For example, that they have a mission, which is well explained on their website: to bring the general public closer to guitar-rock, packed by embracing the classic structure: voice – guitar – bass – drums, soaked with enthusiasm, effort and very contagious refrains to sing at their (so far frequent) concerts even if we do not know the lyrics by heart.

It is speaking music, thanks to Dave Holt-Mead’s riffs and to the rhythmic section composed by Dave Batchelor (drums) and Fin Cunningham (bass), but there are the right looks as well – especially as far as frontman Tom Cunningham is concerned. This magnetic master of the scene plays all on the intensity by giving up easy glam shortcuts.

What do the Trusted have that is missing from other British projects?

They know how to transmit energy and optimism even “in the turbulent times we are experiencing”. Who knows if they have adopted Al Green’s life philosophy (“I’m happy because I wake up every day and choose to be happy”, he revealed to an astonished Terence Trent D’Arby during the rehearsals of a John Lennon concert-tribute)… It is on a brush’s tip that a drop of melancholy comes in “Sunlight”, giving the effect of an afternoon sun that softly kisses the skin without irritating it. In this mixture, it is easy to find the spontaneity of the first Coldplay of “Parachutes” or the James by Tim Booth in the mid-1990s. Elsewhere there is a sparkling air that brings you back to groups like the Spin Doctors. Remarkable, since the boys were not yet born when “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” conquered the charts.

The Trusted are originally from Southend-On-Sea but now have an audience that is expanding throughout England. The Trusted rely on their musical culture and on Tom’s boundless curiosity, who writes the lyrics of the songs, as well as on an approach that breaks down the wall between the indie/alternative world and the sales rankings with axe knocks.

It is a good bet: in a world of beautiful, disposable voices, Cunningham is building an identity with patience and tenacity, paying close attention to artists who know how to make a difference – from Jim Morrison to Mick Jagger. Each new song shows an unprecedented side and tangible signs of maturation, and we just need to test them with their first full-length album once released. Trust ’em.

 

Alessandro Liccardo

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