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Simple Mind Condition

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Album Review

Trouble's much anticipated comeback following nearly a decade of inactivity, Simple Mind Condition was unfortunately commercially stillborn upon release because of their new label, Escapi Music's, inability to get it into record stores in most territories, including the U.S. — nice going, geniuses! For those who actually managed to secure an import copy, however, Trouble's seventh album does not disappoint — but then it doesn't always shock and awe, either. Rather, the band's reunited core lineup of vocalist Eric Wagner, guitarists Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell, drummer Jeff Olson, plus new bassist Chuck Robinson, turns in a solid, sometimes stellar, sometimes flawed new set of songs, bearing very few surprises (like the abnormally rockin' "Pictures of Life," the piano-enhanced "The Beginning of Sorrows," and a first ever cover version: Lucifer's Friend's "Ride the Sky"), yet, more importantly, remaining commendably faithful to Trouble's signature sound. This, as loyal followers can attest, lives and dies with Franklin and Wartell's unmistakable tones of doom, which, as expected (and hoped for), take center stage throughout Simple Mind Condition. In fact, the pair's elephantine riffs, telepathic dual harmonies, and tag-team soloing, both dominate and define standout tracks like "Seven," "Trouble Maker," "If I Only Had a Reason," and the heart-rending ballad "After the Rain," but none of these would be Trouble without Wagner's, distinctive growls and mournful wails weaving in their midst. Longtime fans will notice that the group's parallel penchant for psychedelic explorations (taken to extremes on arguably their best-known album, Manic Frustration) are at an all time low on this occasion, and Trouble unwittingly bootleg both their past work on portions of the title cut and "Pictures of Life," and on first single "Mindbender," '70s hard rockers Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog." In conjunction with their label's distribution doldrums, the above mixed qualities are unlikely to push Trouble to superstardom after all these years; but considering how long they'd been away, Simple Mind Condition still represents an overwhelmingly positive return to action, and will easily satisfy the band's devoted fans.

Customer Reviews

A five star classic!

Crazy that no-one has written anything on this record considering it is one of the best trouble records EVER. Trouble is so great and ya know, they deserve much more recognition and they are considered one of the best classic doom metal to heavy metal and rock, you cannot put them in one bracket too much as they are very diverse on every record. bands. And even today they manage to release records like unplugged ( a absolutle gem of an album) and have had a surge of Lps lately that sold out as soon as they were released. from psalm-9 to unplugged , If you have not heard them they are a must have. From a chicago based band that endured through the 80's 90's and beyond. Have written beautiful songs. check them out for sure.

Right up there with COC

This is the best of the Trouble albums in my opinion. If you're a fan of Corrosion of Conformity with Pepper on vocals - you'll like this. PIck up everyhing they've done, but start with this one. The singer also does an awesome song on Dave Grohl's side project PROBOT. Outstanding musicianship - tight, melodic songs. 5 stars!!!

Great Rock Album

Heard them on XM. had to find them. Good listen


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

At a time when heavy metal was moving forward faster than ever, thanks to the advent and growing popularity of thrash metal, Chicago's Trouble embodied a nostalgic throwback to the genre's old-school, '70s values -- and specifically a preference for the deliberate, slow-creeping style of the genre's founding fathers, Black Sabbath, which, in the able hands of Trouble and California's similarly backward-gazing Saint Vitus, came to be known as doom metal. Unfortunately, neither band, nor their few...
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