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Singles, Live, Unreleased

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Album Review

Royal Trux celebrated their freedom from Virgin and return to Drag City by releasing Singles, Live, Unreleased, a sprawling 32-song set filled with rarities and obscurities. Sure, it seems like this falls into the "fans-only" category, but this mess has a certain charm. Also, in its own way, it captures what Royal Trux is all about, containing equal amounts of pretension, noise, blues-rock, attitude, and menace. Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema were the perfect fusion of the Rolling Stones and Sonic Youth, a concept that didn't always yield listenable or great results — how could it? — but when it worked, it was among the greatest indie rock of their era. And while this is by definition arcane music, it also frequently captures the group at their best and, even better, captures the group the way they really are.


Formed: 1988 in New York City, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

From the noisy demise of underground kingpins Pussy Galore came two interesting bands. The first was Jon Spencer's blues deconstruction unit, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion; the second was Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema's dissonant junkie nightmare known as Royal Trux. Interestingly, both bands started out as avant-noise combos playing little that resembled traditional rock & roll. That doesn't mean the music they made was bad; it was rather a little difficult to figure out when they were really...
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