Trusty - Demo [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Demo [reissue] (2008)


Dischord devotees may remember Trusty for the pair of albums the D.C.-based label released in the 1990s and the band's subsequent extensive touring until their breakup in 1997. But while those Dischord records demonstrated a more pop-oriented and intellectually sound band, no such release captured the raw energy and fervor of their demo, re-released for the first time in 20 years by DC-Jam Records.

Despite their roots in Little Rock, Arkansas, Trusty had a groovy hardcore punk sound that fits nicely among the "D.C. sound" even before they moved there in 1992. Combined with their already developed style and their new capitol locale, it made sense that they would go on to sign with Dischord following the release of this demo as the first band on the label not originating in D.C.

The band is at the top of their game on the opening track "Mister Know-It All." "You're a million miles deeper than the deepest sea / You write a real mean line of poetry / You're the greatest modern thinker in the world bar-none / You've probably thought of everything under the sun" shouts frontman Bobby Matthews shortly before breaking into a rapid-fire rap with a spot-on vocal delivery. The band takes a more straight-ahead approach on wealth-mocking "We Know," with chit-chatty vocals that coincidentally sound a lot like Ian MacKaye on "Cashing In." Trusty gets psychedelic on the goofy "Where's Bircho" (in reference to the band's drummer known simply as "Bircho" in the liner notes), whose 50 seconds of tranquility would be filler if it wasn't so amusing. The quartet snaps along ferociously on the band track "Trusty," claiming "Violence and hardcore don't go hand in hand" while "Barney" recalls life in Mayberry, NC circa the 1960s. The disc closes out with "Totally Blind," which builds for a minute and spends the next three in a full-out, unruly assault that neatly wraps up the manner and aesthetic of Trusty on their demo recordings.

In spite of releasing quality records on one of the most respected labels in the punk community, Trusty has remained fairly below the radar and this re-release will not likely change that. However, anyone with even a fleeting interest in 20th century hardcore would be remiss if they didn't check out Trusty, and there's no better place to start than their Demo.