SKULL574

TRUST, Man’s Trap  (1984, CBS)

The skull:
It’s like grandmother always said: “Behind every skull with deplorable teeth is a goofy chameleon with attitude.” Your gramma did say that, right? Mine did! Perhaps she was repeating some poorly translated proverb from some medieval French playwright, handed down over generations. That explains why it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Whatever the case, Trust captured this existential idea on this fine piece of album cover “art.” The “Man’s Trap” toe-tag had to go on a tooth, since the skull is obviously lacking toes. A tooth-tag for a toeless skull. There’s a sentence you don’t read every day. This cover is way more surreal than it seems to be at first glance. I need to lay down for a spell…

The music:
RIYL: Boss, Rose Tattoo, Coney Hatch. IDNL: Boss, Rose Tattoo, or Coney Hatch, so I do not like Trust either. This French band would have remained in the limbo of semi-obscurity were it not for Iron Maiden’s heavy endorsement back in the early and mid ’80s. Interestingly, Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain played in this band prior to joining the mighty Maiden, and lookee here: Clive Burr plays on this album. Let’s get this out of the way: Trust sounds nothing like Iron Maiden. Nothing I’ve ever heard by Trust sounded remotely appealing, actually, and the sleazy bar-rock all over Man’s Trap is no better than the junkiest of junky NWOBHM bands. The vocalist’s sneering, scratchy delivery reminds way too much of Nicky Moore (Samson, Mammoth) meshed with Biff Byford (a vocalist I have never liked, although it seems everyone else in the world does), and he crumples the lyrics together into a huge mess of unintelligible English. For this album, Trust realized French isn’t a very good language for singing hard rock, although the English-sung Trust is hardly better. Musically it’s sub-AC/DC hard rock scrap. Occasionally a bit or bob will appeal, as with the great riff underneath the final solo in “Uptown Martyrs.” But god, the vocalist sucks, and I’ll pay you 20-spot if you can get through songs like “’84” and “Fireball” without vomiting.
— Friar Wagner

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