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Troubled

The New Creation

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Album Review

"Must be heard to be believed" is a cliché that's attached to too many records that turn out not to be as strange or entertaining as their reputations might lead you to think. Troubled really is something that has to be heard to be believed, though, in its combination of fervent Christian lyrics and sloppy, untutored garage-folk-psychedelic rock. Never was it stranger than in the opening "Countdown to Revolution!," where gunfire and bomb explosions back heavily reverbed random soundbites of worship and very 1970s-era despair and hip lingo. In a way, everything's a comedown after that, but the very basic guitar-drum-miscellaneous percussion arrangements of the other tunes are eerie enough in their own right. Lay some wholly unself-conscious, awkwardly metered lyrics about the power of God to transform and heal over that, and you have the kind of stuff barely heard in any music, Christian, rock, or otherwise. The instruments and voices are about as out of time as anything committed to vinyl, and the naïve punk artlessness of the performers almost makes it sound as if they're unwittingly satirizing themselves. For this isn't quite feel-good stuff; dirge-like melodies abound, and ballads like "Wind" and "All Is Well" (where all is not well, and the despairing singer wishes he could call the Lord on his telephone) make salvation sound as ominous as a trip to the devil's waiting room. As for even the lighter tunes, it must be said that few songs hailing Jesus have done so in language hailing his bucking the status quo, in almost those exact words ("The Status Quo Song"), and that there may be no other calypso-rock inspirational Christian tune told as a first-person narrative of a woman busted on a narcotics charge ("Yet Still Time"). The CD reissue makes the experience complete with thorough liner notes detailing the group's history, as well as their rediscovery at the hands of dedicated collectors.

Biography

Formed: Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '60s

The New Creation were initially heard by very few people, and for good reason. Released in 1970, their album Troubled was one of countless rock "vanity" albums self-pressed during the psychedelic era. Only 100 copies were made, none sold commercially, and it was only known to have been played on the radio once. More than that, though, it was extremely uncommercial, its wholly original material combining devout Christian religious lyrics with crude, even amateurishly played and sung rock music with...
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Troubled, The New Creation
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