Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Blue Is The Frequency: A Look At The New Royal Trux Live Album On Drag City

Was it ever in doubt that they would be back? Royal Trux are here again, to infect our eardrums with scuzzy glory. This time around, on the fine Platinum Tips+Ice Cream, out on Friday via Drag City, the results are live versions of some of the band's best material. The overall effect is one that reaffirms the low charms of the band while reminding a listener of just what a fine live proposition they remain.

The album opens with the rough "Junkie Nurse" before easing into the T.Rex-meets-Aerosmith stroll of "Sewers Of Mars", Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema languidly exploring the nuances of this near-blues-y stuff. Elsewhere, on the excellent and essential "Esso Dame", originally from the band's first album, the Trux blow the doors off with a whole lot of sinister intent. This is brutal stuff, as is the more-polished "Blue Is The Frequency" from the band's classic Veterans Of Disorder album. Royal Trux seem to be able to casually blend up a nasty melange of Exile-era Stones hooks, with some Johnny Thunders-type nastiness, and a blast of early Gun Club to whip up tunes that have somehow stood the test of time despite sounding like they were written yesterday in a rush (the lanky "Mercury", or the rather lovely "Sometimes" come to mind here). A clear highlight in this regard is "Ice Cream" from Twin Infinitives, here stretched to the breaking point in a neat approximation of acid rock that, however briefly, puts this band squarely next to Spacemen 3 and Primal Scream.

Platinum Tips+Ice Cream is the sort of live album that is so good that it makes you want to go back and get your older Royal Trux albums out again. And, I guess, there are probably a few people out there who maybe missed the recent string of Royal Trux reissues on Drag City and needed this reminder that this band was always on fire, always full of a real nasty streak, the kind that usually inspires the very best rock-'n'-roll of all

Out on Drag City on Friday, Platinum Tips+Ice Cream is the addition to the library of Royal Trux that both long-time fans and new ones so desperately needed. Get in on the woozy goodness now folks!

[Photo: Unknown photographer, courtesy Drag City]