Trouble - TROUBLE

Trouble is one of the bands that kickstarted doom metal alongside Saint Vitus and Candlemass. In the 80's, they played straightforward Sabbath dirges. We're talking molten metal with gigantic riffs, psychedelic soloing, and Iommi-esque arrangements. Their style would eventually drift off into grunge/hard rock territory, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I like hard rock just as much as the next guy. I'm choosing to review the self-titled Trouble disc from 1990 because it shows the band in a stage of transition, flaunting a grizzled sound that can only be described as "doom rock."

This is actually my favorite Trouble album. The modern heaviness of the beefy, slightly Southern jams on display appeal to me as a fan of the bands that Trouble influenced. I'm mainly referring to Down, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, and even a bit of Pantera. These songs felt twice as heavy in 1990. This is also a catchy crumpet of funereal gloom. The chorus of "R.I.P." will get stuck in your head for days. The bold vocal melodies of "Heaven On My Mind" add color to an otherwise barbaric fist-pumper.

The clean leads are fluid and articulate. Something about the note selection punches the emotional depth up a few notches. If you're not moved by the twin harmonies in the middle of "At the End of My Daze," you may want to check your pulse. Ditto for the elegaic opening of "The Wolf." The requisite ballad, "The Misery Shows (Act II)," doesn't really do it for me. It sounds like a different band at the wheel, and the stylistic switcharoo comes off as forced. Plus, it disrupts the intrinsic cadence of the record, but that's just my opinion.

Those are the only depreciatory words that I have stored in my memory banks for Trouble's Trouble. This is simply a stupendous slab of harrowing doom. If you're not crazy about doom yourself, you can still enjoy the album, as it leans towards blue-collar bar rock. It's better than bar rock, though. WAY better. Unfortunately, you'll have one hell of a time tracking down a copy of Trouble on CD. It needs to be reissued, but apparently, there are miles of legal red tape standing in the way. That's why Satan invented eBay and cassette tapes!

1 comment:

  1. This was an excellent album, and it's a shame it's so hard to find these days. That said, Trouble's debut 'Psalm 9' and its follow-up 'The Skull' are their best. The band recently tried carrying on without vocalist Eric Wagner, recruiting Warrior Soul vocalist Kory Klarke to fill in. As much as I love Warrior Soul, Wagner is irreplaceable.