Tuesday, August 26, 2008
6. Royal Trux - The Radio Video EP (+ bonus)
Royal Trux were simultaneously the World's Finest Boogie Band, backwater noise music terrorists, the logical fusion and evolution of Butthole Surfers and Was (Not Was), and two Stupid Asshole Junkies with a good hand on musical equipment. Their catalog ranges anywhere from puke-rock terrorism, Rolling Stones blues poppers, compressed cock rock anthems and the theme from M.A.S.H. complete with helicopters.
A formerly married couple, Jennifer Herremma and Neil Haggerty are the Drag City heroes of a world without hooks and art rock without rock. Jennifer is known to pack 'tude and shoot heroin, and, if in the mood, add her brand name crass, disgusting vocals over the mix, sounding almost as if a Ween song had a point, merit, or any kind of visible humor. Neil twiddles and bends on cheap pawn shop guitars, channeling some of the greatest rock soloists of his time and poking fun at all of them with every delay stompbox and pentatonic mumbling in the book, piled on top of the over produced drums, vocals, flangers, pots and pans, and sing-along reverberation, clouding the music in a thick haze on the line between snideness and sincerity. They are Captain Beefheart and Led Zeppelin, The Los Angeles Free Music Society and The Cars. Conceptual experimental, or earnestly in love with FM Radio? Either way, they're alot of fun.
The Radio Video EP is one of the band's most peculiar works, completely unlike the infamous Twin Infinitives and a little more stripped down than Accelerator and the like. The extraneous strings, stadium rock drums, and corny Farfisa organs are left out in favor of a dry, hollow drum and bass sound, droning with seductive background vocals courtesy of the unknown Reeta Young and accompanied by long time Trux drummer Chris Pyle on one track. It feels almost as if they've made dance music their next target. On the flip side, the messy vocals, rambling guitars, hysterical lyrics and generally obnoxious overtones are all in tact, and on a whole new level. The Inside Game (you might recognize this number from High Fidelity if you're a huge wiener and a fag) is a yelping, grooving, filthy dance number that sets the continuity of the record; pounding bass and percussion, loose shredding and absurd half-rapping vocals from Haggerty, and Herremma slipping in for the chorus with the effects on high. Echoes waiver, lead guitar and background samples switch on and off at seemingly random jumps, and the end product is both very psychedelic and very funky, bizarre and consistently amusing on top of that. Victory Chimp: Episode 3 was recorded live inside a book store if these boney shitheads are to believe, sung by a throaty Haggerty on lone acoustic guitar with two pairs of bongos thrown in. Dirty Headlines is the star track, continuing the canon of Inside Game with this little chant:
YOU'RE SO RANK/
YOU PROBABLY TRY TO LICK YOUR OWN SKANK
atop Reeta Young's impatient moaning and Herremma's multi-tracked nursey rhymes. Mexican Comet bridges the next gap with a short percussive drone, and the album climaxes with On My Mind, the last in Haggerty's trilogy of uncouth South Jersey boy sermons. It's strange there's so little seen of this EP on the internet, because it's a huge accomplishment in their discography and a definite stand out in the hodge podge of material these faithless dickwads have released.
Royal Trux have a different niche for everyone. Their signature tongue-in-cheek humor, hidden within the 50/50 earnest/sarcastic writing and instrumentation, psychedelic and unhinged and endlessly mocking, masked by a noise rock attitude and demeanor is sure to appeal to fans of most stuff that is not gay.
Click Here To No Longer Be Gay
(PS: I've added Jay Reatard's Hammer i miss you EP in, as EPs are really short and people seem to be catching onto his sneering Adverts punk rock and stupid jew fro these days)