Like fellow Southerners 3 Doors Down, Alabamaís Trust Company are a no-frills hard-rock band with enough radio-ready hooks to make up for their lack of fashion sense. Their first hit, "Downfall," starts off in mosh mode but simmers down when frontman Kevin Palmer cuts in with his soft, cooing voice. The rest of the band join in on the chorus, which offsets the songís downbeat tone with some of the sweetest power-pop harmonies to hit rock radio all year.
On the rest of this debut album, which was produced by rock hitmaker Don Gilmore (Linkin Park), Trust Company fare best when they stick to a similar formula. Unfortunately, they repeat the exact structure of "Downfall" too many times: some of the songs border on lethargic, and their glum lyrical themes are often too conventional to stand out. "Falling Apart" breaks up the monotony with some Korn-fed ugliness. And the wispy power ballad "The Fear" is the discís one moment of real catharsis. Itís the bandís answer to Puddle of Muddís "Blurry," with nicer singing and vaguely spiritual overtones, and even if it doesnít lead to the pop crossover Trust Company obviously have in mind, itís a step in the right direction.