The New Trust’s long awaited full-length debut, Dark Is The Path Which Lies Before Us, finally arrived earlier this year. The band is best known as the side-project for Josh Staples of The Velvet Teen although it also included Michael Richardson of Benton Falls for a time as well. Released three years after the band’s debut EP, Dark Is The Path Which Lies Before Us sees the band trying to reinvent and establish themselves all over again.
Dark Is The Path Which Lies Before Us is an incredible mess of a record. That it actually works most of the time is even more amazing. Like an unholy marriage of emo, post-hardcore and indie pop, The New Trust might stumble over themselves at times. It sure is not for lack of trying any and all avenues before them though. Pretentious maybe, but it is the band’s ambition that carries the album. Much like his full-time gig, The Velvet Teen, Staples apparently does not like to sit still with The New Trust either. While all these songs maintain a uniform brevity, their diverse nature might come as a shock to the system upon your first few listens. As the title might suggest, there is a dark nature to the band’s sound. All the while The New Trust are still able to maintain a pop-influenced core. However, the band makes their mark with their songcraft. Never conventional, The New Trust’s song arrangements seem to lend themselves towards experimentation rather than actually trying to hook the listener with blatant melodies. It is a balance that the band constantly struggles with on Dark Is The Path Which Lies Before Us. Sadly, the departure of Michael Richardson could have helped. His role is severely limited on Dark Is The Path Which Lies Before Us. That is a shame as he provided the band a solid backbone and perhaps some grounding nature as well. The album certainly could have used more of his calming influence and steady hand.
The New Trust are wildly imaginative and that leads to sharp ups and downs throughout Dark Is The Path Which Lies Before Us. If the band can harness that imagination and present it more cohesively the results could be breathtaking. So, who knows what lies ahead for The New Trust. With The Velvet Teen’s infrequency hopefully we can look forward to more New Trust material before 2010.
RIYL: The Velvet Teen, Benton Falls, Moneen