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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.

Customer Reviews

The whole ball of wax...whatever that means...

What the above review doesn't mention: big record wouldn't let them put these songs out so they started their own label and released their best album ever...This album finds a place somewhere in between their more immediately (and perhaps overly) palatable later work and their earlier ambient noisiness making it on the whole, both multilayered for long term enjoyment as well as something you can enjoy right away. Not every song is a winner but most are. For a sampling of the diversity here, try listening to Mercury, Lucy Peaupaux and signed, confused.


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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