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Friday, March 16, 2012

Never Heard of 'Em: Royal Trux

Posted by on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Editor's note: Anna Minard, the latest addition to The Stranger's editorial gaggle, has never heard any music aside from Richard Marx and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Thus, every Wednesday, we present Never Heard of 'Em, in which we force her to listen to and write her impressions about random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.

Royal Trux
(Drag City)

(Sorry this is late this week, I've been hit with the death cold that's going around.)

Okay, confession time: An album like this was exactly what I was afraid of when we started this Never Heard of 'Em business. When I listen to music like this, my first instinct is, "Stop yelling at me, I didn't do anything wrong!" Royal Trux's untitled album (what? Name your shit!) is really loud, both shouty AND mumbly, and occasionally devolves into just noise on purpose (track 3, "Hallucination"). It doesn't sound like they're trying very hard, and it doesn't sound like anyone who wasn't friends with them listened to it before they recorded the whole album.

But Grant wouldn't have given this to me if a bunch of people didn't love it, so I'm trying to figure that out. Is it because it's so "raw"? What mood are you in for this to really do it for you? (Maybe "high" or "drunk"?) Or… I guess it's perfect for making that guitar-face that dudes make sometimes, all scrunchy-lipped and squinty and smirky. And it does sound like a decent soundtrack for a sort of postadolescent melancholy/ennui. Oh, and live I bet this would be really fun, if you had extremely long hair and hated your eardrums more than anything on earth.

What the fuck? Did they just say, "Let me take you through the door/Through the door that eats your face"? See, that just sounds like free association. And the chorus of the first track, "Air," is pretty much just "Air, air, air, air, air, air, air." (I am not exaggerating.)

However, I do really like track 4, "Junkie Nurse." In both content and form, it cracks my shit up and makes me smile. Every time I've listened to this album my brain breathes a sigh of relief when it comes on. I already have it stuck in my head. I think I'm going to play it for my friends in nursing school and see if they laugh or cry.

Who I imagine would like this:

1. Teenage boys who punch each other in the nuts whenever they're in front of girls.
2. People who are high on drugs.
3. People who are friends with the band.
4. The 1990s.

In conclusion: I give this a "turn that infernal racket down, you hooligans" out of 10.

Watch the video for "Air" after the cut:


Comments (19) RSS

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Megan Seling 1
I love you, Anna Minard.
Posted by Megan Seling on March 16, 2012 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Grant Brissey, Emeritus 2
To clarify, I do not necessarily think this record is good. In fact it's the result of the dimise of one of my all-time favorite bands.
Posted by Grant Brissey, Emeritus on March 16, 2012 at 4:12 PM · Report this
How old are you? When I clicked on SLOG and saw this my reaction was WHAT?! Then I felt old, as a flood of memories of Royal Trux at Coney Island High in NYC came back to me. Yes I am from the 1990s.
Posted by xina on March 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
RatGirl 4
It's 'demise', Grant. And my favorite Royal Trux song is "Stevie" off of Accelerator, with "Junkie Nurse" coming in a close second.
Posted by RatGirl on March 16, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
Grant Brissey, Emeritus 5
I spell however I want.
Posted by Grant Brissey, Emeritus on March 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Way to take a stand, Grant. "Not necessarily"? This album is terrible, by the way, and breaking up was the best idea that Pussy Galore ever had. Okay, second best, after their album names. Because for all that they occasionally, accidentally hit upon something interesting (most of Sugarshit Sharp), breaking up allowed us to end up with Extra Width and Orange.
Posted by jjb on March 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Royal Trux were never "high" or on drugs!!

(just kidding)
Posted by Kelly O on March 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM · Report this
nipper 8
I saw Royal Trux prolly five times, always much silly NYC ATTITUDE and general weirdness.

@6 it wasnt Pussy Galore breaking up but Spencer's stint in the Gibson Bros that afforded us Extra Width and Orange

Posted by nipper on March 16, 2012 at 4:41 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 9
i have a royal trux album - played it once. in 1993.
and i like noise. a lot.

the fact that they're junkies does not neccessarily make it good.
Posted by Max Solomon on March 16, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
The_Shaved_Bear 10
Album sucks. I hated it even when it was hep, so NYAH NYAH!
Good review!
Posted by The_Shaved_Bear on March 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM · Report this
Accelerator is THE Royal Trux album. One of the most underrated albums of the 90s. The production is so weird and brilliant and druggy. And yes Stevie is amazing.
Posted by Hosono on March 16, 2012 at 4:47 PM · Report this
Republican Grunge.
Posted by tiktok on March 16, 2012 at 6:02 PM · Report this
Royal Trux reeks of hard drugs and Charo-esque hair. I have never even pretended to be impressed.
Posted by d.p. on March 16, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this
>and occasionally devolves into just noise on purpose

>See, that just sounds like free association.

You make it sound like these are bad things.

Posted by modrachlan srarmons on March 16, 2012 at 9:38 PM · Report this
GlamB0t 15
I love this review!!!

Can't wait for the next. Anna is hysterical and the title of the column is also perfect because chances are, I will have never heard of them either. I admittedly have a very narrow range of music.

HORIZON: prepare to be expanded*!

*with a dash of hilarious snark.
Posted by GlamB0t on March 17, 2012 at 9:15 AM · Report this
I Heart Flan! 16
Who the fuck are Richard Marx and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy?
Posted by I Heart Flan! on March 17, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Nugget 17
hahahahahahaHA! these never heard of em's crack MY shit up. two thumbs up!
Posted by Nugget on March 17, 2012 at 5:23 PM · Report this
Fucking children at the Stranger. I bet you all wish there was a rag you could go to for what is supposed to be cool. Hard to do it all by yourself, huh?
Posted by bothaus on March 30, 2012 at 4:29 PM · Report this
BTW.... (Royal Trux) They WERE teenagers when they started this band...WAY before Neil QUIT PG. Best song titles and lyrics of the past 20 years....Richard Marx and Big Bad Voodoo that some cute ironic/unironic WTF. Dont write about shit you dont know about. Pussy Galore were wannabe poseurs. Hagerty was the only genuine thing about that band
Posted by Janelle E on May 6, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this

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