Trust Punks - Double Bind

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Building on the jangly sounds of the Discipline EP, on Double Bind, Trust Punks reveal themselves as more restless, and ambitious, than many of the other Australasian acts reshaping punk. They're not complacent, and they don't want their listeners to be, either. They begin the album by diving headlong into uncomfortable issues: Their outrage over anti-immigrant discrimination sets fire to "Paradise/Angel-wire"'s post-punk gloom, while "Good Luck with That" tears into the American prison industrial complex ("you got suburban fears") in two breathless minutes. This would be more than enough fodder for most bands' debut albums, but Double Bind upends expectations on almost every track. None of these songs sound much like each other; instead, the band's energy unites the album as it ranges from melancholy, Discipline-like moments such as "The Reservoir" to the smoldering fury of "Riding It Out" to the meditative "Beneath the Commons." Trust Punks don't hide their influences on Double Bind, but they don't copy them slavishly, either. Their nods to Polvo, Slint, Wire, the Fall, and This Heat feel like they're adding to, not just borrowing from, the legacy of bands who challenged themselves as much as their listeners. Indeed, Trust Punks are at their best on Double Bind when they test their limits. "Pig" is a near-perfect balance of their abrasive and melodic sides, while "Leaving Room for the Lord" is gnarled and combative, taking the entire history of Auckland's skirmishes between punks and police in its sweep. Trust Punks save the most striking moment for last: "Bank of God"'s thrilling nine-minute sprawl begins with a brass fanfare that announces its scrappy Motorik and free-falling guitars. It feels miles away from Discipline and the other songs here, but even on a song this transporting, the band leaves enough rough edges to live up to the punk part of their name. As impressive as the album can be, sometimes it feels like Trust Punks are still grappling with how to put everything together. Still, Double Bind's sheer amount of ideas and spirit -- and flashes of greatness -- suggest the band is on the cusp of something revolutionary.

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