Royal Trux | RUG105 | Released: 19/05/14
Do you remember the summer of 1998; the traffic jams and morning radio?
How fantastic is it to be able to reach back and take those memories whole?
It was a brave old world back in the year 2000; on the Domino side of the street (we called it “the fast lane” — what did we know?), the production team of Adam and Eve deliriously blended the guilty pleasures of late 90s smooth r ’n’ b (as epitomized by the group Class Houses, featuring Reeta Young) with the pushy funk of Royal Trux. Featuring, ladies and gentlemen, Jennifer Herrema and Neil Hagerty, etc.
An album and an EP removed from the synapse-splitting Accelerator, “The Radio Video EP” knocked our vision of Royal Trux out of focus in five quick tracks, while simultaneously morphing into a new incarnation that we might finally hope to understand in some future days (2014? Nahhh...). Dance-poppin’ Trux! But a close listen to “The Radio Video EP” will find you following a trail backwards though Royal Trux history, walking along the blared lines and stinky beats of the “Mercury” b/w “Shockwave Rider” single and the “Spike Cyclone” double 7" (both now collected on, Singles, Live, Unreleased), as well as Veterans of Disorder’s “Sickazz Dog,” for pure drooling nonsense — all abstract momentos of rude and shocking compulsions built upon hard rock and roll.
Of course, this new EP wasn’t a catch-all release revisiting former poses —no, never! In keeping with Royal Trux tradition, “The Radio Video EP” was a new and hitherto untouched quantity — this time, well-machined, club-ready psych-pop, presented for the pleasure of all the people of Earth, with no discriminations.
Just months away from their sudden flameout, Royal Trux were still flying high, enjoying their little plot next to the mainstream and the bridge tolls that it provided To this end, “The Inside Game” was licensed to the major motion picture High Fidelity, for two young skateboarder types to mime at in punkish, sub-Beasties style. Elsewhere, the jam and-recitation “Victory Chimp, Episode 3” (much more of which was to come a decade down the line) was recorded at an unplugged session in a downtown Chicago Borders Books & Music one autumn afternoon in 1999. The Royal Trux release of summer 2000 promised even more renegade MOR rock and roll pleasures — but time wasn’t on their side for the next round.
Today, Neil and Jennifer are back in the face again, with a steady series of releases from The Howling Hex and Black Bananas strafing society from opposite sides of the divide. And from above and beyond, the next-to-last Royal Trux release (until the tales-from-the-crypt Hand of Glory dropped in ’02 — coming back soon!) is here and queer: “The Radio Video EP.”
RECENT (AND CLASSIC) ROYAL TRUX
Veterans of Disorder, Three Song EP, Accelerator, Singles, Live, Unreleased, Cats and Dogs, Untitled, Twin Infinitives, Self-Titled