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Izzy and the Black Trees - Trust No One

  by Adrian Janes

published: 25 / 1 / 2021



Izzy and the Black Trees - Trust No One
Label: Antena Kryzyku
Format: CD

intro

Varied and strong debut from Polish rock band Izzy and the Black Trees


‘Trust No One’ kicks off with the title track, a drum thumping, guitar squalling, urgent statement of intent. Lyrically, given an uncompromising start, its message becomes a little confusing and undermined by the end, when singer Izabella Rekowska’s “I trust no-one these days/As I’m the only child” has changed to conceding she at least trusts her parents. But it drives along strongly enough to be engaging nonetheless. The busy hi-hat work on ‘Picasso’s Octopuss’ makes for a differently danceable track, combining stirringly with Mariusz Dois’ distorted guitar. Inspired by an exhibition in which the artist’s vision of women as octopi was, well, exhibited (‘tentacle erotica’ is, apparently, a thing), there also seems be the dark thrill of risk in Rekowska’s plea: “Put your arms around my neck/See the structure, shape and sweat”. There is an appropriately sombre, edgy mood to ‘After Dark’, with only glints of guitar to shed some light over passages of remorseless riffing that almost bury the words, so that you can’t hear Izzy for the Trees. ‘King of Gardens’ shows a sense of dynamics, as it builds from a slow, stark opening and a paradisal dream of “a kingdom of trees and plants” to its loss amidst raging guitar and voice: “Someone lit a match and it burned to Hell”. Maybe it’s a tale of how humans have spoiled the Earth, perhaps some kind of Goth(ic) horror, as the music ultimately evokes. ‘Mr President’, with its acoustic rhythm guitar, brings out a poppier side to the band, although the line “All the girls would dance for us”, repeated with mounting fervour, suggests the abuse possible at such a level of power. The curiously-named ‘Scream Sea Lions’ makes more sense on hearing the cries Dois pulls from his guitar, to evoke the sea lions of San Francisco Bay. They make for a well-judged contrast with the song’s conventional pop-rock beat. ‘Strangers Allow’ is one of the most atmospheric tracks, created by a languid tom-tom rhythm and liquid guitar. Guest musician Michal Gizycki’s sax blends well, both here and in the more intense, wilder middle section, before he and the Black Trees settle back down into a melodic conclusion. The album ends with ‘Kite Dancer’, Dois’ chords slightly jazzy to match the more delicate mood, as Rekowska asks, “Just be there for me”. It’s the one track on which, in contrast to the Patti Smith pitch of much of her singing, she goes for some higher notes, suiting the exposed vulnerability of the lyrics. Poland is not generally noted for its rock bands, but Izzy and the Trees prove here to be a powerful band of accomplished players. This is an album that, if not greatly original, is certainly on a par with releases by more familiar names – trust me on this.



Track Listing:-
1 Trust No One
2 Picasso's Octopuss
3 After Dark
4 King Of Gardens
5 Mr. President
6 Scream Sea Lions
7 Strangers Allow
8 Kite Dancer



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