Friday, December 01, 2017

Eugeology: Eugene's List of Hard Rock Albums and Possible Gems Part 28 - Trouble 'Trouble' (1990)

Next up is yet another album produced by Rick Rubin. And if you missed my opinion from the earlier albums that he produced, I totally dig the raw and nearly unpolished sound that Rubin brings to studio releases.

I always knew about Trouble just by seeing them in the “metal” section at the old Record Bar store that used to be in Greensboro’s Friendly Center. I just couldn’t take a risk on purchasing one of their albums without knowing a thing about them. And from the cheap look of those early album covers, it tainted my early opinion of them.

I first heard them on WROV in Roanoke, VA as I was driving HWY 219 between Pickaway and Union, WV. They played “The Misery Shows (Act 2)”. I can show you the very spot where that song made an impression on my 23-year-old mind. I had no idea who the artist was. I kept thinking backsell the song, backsell the song, tell me the artist. And they did!

Normally, I wasn’t one for listening to radio. But WROV was different. They kicked ass until they were purchased by Clear Channel and homogenized until their uniqueness was cast aside like a banana peel.

I purchased the album as soon as I got back to my job at Peaches Music & Video. It had been out for a few months, but I dismissed them for reasons stated above. But when I got that joker in my hands, I consumed and savored it for over a week.

You could call Trouble “doom metal” or “stoner rock”. I just refer to them as hard rock.

The production is rather sparse in the sense that the music doesn’t completely fill a blank canvas. The guitars are loud and crunchy. The drums are really forward in the mix, as they should be. And they have that “flabby” Bonham sound on the toms. The vocals can be smooth as Morrison and flipped to Brian Johnson with flick of a switch.

In my humble opinion, there’s not a bad cut on the album. Rubin really helped them bring their “A game” for this release. “Black Shapes Of Doom” is a nice driving ditty and other standouts are “At The End Of My Daze”, “A Sinner’s Fame”, and “The Misery Shows (Act 2)”.

And like Tim pointed out in his review RIGHT HERE, there are spiritual and religious references made here and there. I seem to recall a tour where Trouble hit the road with their label mates at the time Danzig. The all access laminate passes were inverted crosses. The members of Trouble changed their passes to reflect the cross in the upright position. Reportedly, this infuriated Glenn Danzig so much that he had them kicked off his band’s headlining tour. I didn’t find anything about it during a short Google search, so I don’t know how true that story is.

If you dig on some Black Sabbath, then you should have this album in your collection or at the very least on one of your Spotify playlists.

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