Yeah, I’m just shy of a week late on this. So, the last thing wasn’t my thing. Eugene wasn’t too happy with me. Oh, and I talked to Jon over the weekend and he assured me he’s not tapped out, yet. He’s just been really busy. So let’s get on with
this last week’s entry:
#28 – Trouble by Trouble.
Well, this is, um, interesting, I think…? I’d say it’s more like a tale of two albums. On one hand there are parts that I really like and on the other hand, there are things that I absolutely do not like. Musically, it’s pretty rocking. Trouble is considered “doom metal” and that’s pretty evident in parts but then there are the parts that are just straight up rock. Whether they’re doom, gloom, ice cream or unicorn rainbow poop metal doesn’t matter to me. I like a good song. There are a few of those on here.
I guess my ignorance of “doom metal” shows here because when I think of doom, it’s never a good thing. I understand that the genre is mostly reflective of the sound, tempos, rhythms and instrumentation. However, I wasn’t prepared for the Christian/spiritual aspect of it, I guess. It’s not overtly religious, really in any of it. It is subtle but present. And, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of lyrical doom on here, too. I mean “R.I.P.” y’all.
Par for the course with me is that I really don’t like the singer, Eric Wagner’s voice. He sounds like he’s screaming most of the time. Although, the more I listened the less it grated on me. Wagner spent time in and out and back in and back out of Trouble through out the years.
The drummer, Barry Stern, is danged solid. He’s on it and has flashy runs and fills when he needs to. It’s not too much. It’s just right. The twin-guitar duo of Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell make this album what it is, though. Their heavy riffs, harmony solos and thrashy melodies are what makes this album the heavy treat that it can be. Jeff Olson provides the obligatory keyboard piece that this genre needs, if for no other reason than to provide ethereal layers to create the dark ambiance the style is wont to provide.
The letdown for me would be the bass lines from Ron Holzner. He’s doing nothing but mimicking the guitar parts throughout. The guitarists could have used an octave effects pedal and created the same sound. I’ve not heard the bass missing this much since …And Justice for All from Metallica. I’m not sure how I feel about Rick Rubin and his production half the time.
I guess, for the whole album, the best I can say is that I’m conflicted. Parts I do really like and parts I don’t really care for. I won’t say I don’t like it. As I listened to it more whilst writing this, I heard things that previously I had passed off. There are times when I say to myself this doesn’t really sound like Eugene. And, then in the next moment, I’m like yep, there’s Eugene. I can see why he likes it.
Even though I usually dismiss songs that are “long for the sake of being long,” my favorite song on the album is “The Misery Shows (Act II)” at a whopping seven minutes long. I thought it was “Only Women Bleed” at first and then thought I was hearing Black Sabbath (which incidentally the genre of Doom Metal comes from Sabbath), and as much as I don’t like Wagner’s voice, it really works on that. “Heaven on My Mind” and “All Is Forgiven” are pretty cool, too. There are parts throughout that I kept going, nice and other parts I was like, Jeez o’Pete. Silly cliche lyrics being the most of that.
Overall, I’ll say that I didn’t mind it after I listened to it more. I don’t know that I’ll ever listen to it again, but I wouldn’t just shut it off if it was on. Thanks Eug for introducing it and, Jon, hope to see some writings soon!
Until tomorrow, gloom and doom to you…
“I just want to show you that you don’t have to run anymore. I can show you your life has just begun.” – “The Misery Shows (Act II)” (Wagner/Franklin/Wartell)