You know how sometimes you’re presented with an opening to a song that you know you’re going to love inside the first five seconds? Amsterdam collective Personal Trainer have done that on virtually every single they’ve released to date. You know how those songs can grow with each moment to the point where you know you’re in the presence of something truly special? Well, Personal Trainer have done that too. On ‘Key of Ego’, their first single since last year’s terrific Gazebo EP, the group have laid down a real statement of intent and are looking to take their status as one of the Netherlands’ most hotly tipped bands to the next level.
Dashing out of the gates with an onslaught of overdriven bass and stabbing orchestral samples, the song is embellished with plenty of the quirks that emblazoned their last release. As it moves through its many phases, we’re treated to a roaring chorus and a bridge that’s equally complemented with a reserved bridge filled with smooth piano motifs, all while Willem Smit and company undertake a call-and-response vocal style reminiscent of the halcyon days of 90s indie.
On the song’s subject matter, Smit himself isn’t too sure of what the obscure word salad he offers us is about, but insists that he “would rather see [himself] as a question-type-of-guy than an answer-type-of-guy”, before adding “I think it has something to do with masculinity, machismo and shame”. While it only adds a layer of mystery to an already beguiling track, the eccentricities that Personal Trainer are becoming known for are all on display in what is surely the strongest display of their kinetic energy to date. Many bands will be claiming that 2022 will be their year – unfortunately, Personal Trainer might have already claimed it all for themselves with just one exhilarating track.
Words: Reuben Cross
‘Key of Ego’ is out now. Stream and purchase the song via Bandcamp.