Royal Trux - Accelerator
or better or worse, we here at Stylus, in all of our autocratic consumer-crit greed, are slaves to timeliness. A record over six months old is often discarded, deemed too old for publication, a relic in the internet age. That's why each week at Stylus, one writer takes a look at an album with the benefit of time. Whether it has been unjustly ignored, unfairly lauded, or misunderstood in some fundamental way, we aim with On Second Thought to provide a fresh look at albums that need it.
Royal Trux's band biography is a permanent bookmark in my Internet Explorer "Favorites" menu. Whenever I begin to listen to their records I simply must read again about their tumultuous past and apparent genius. Described as a "dissonant junkie nightmare," Royal Trux easily piqued my interest by their biography alone. The project of ex-Pussy Galore members Neil Michael Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema, Royal Trux has released a string of records on the indie label Drag City. At one time, they were signed to Virgin Records, because of the allure of junkie rock rock in the wake of the grunge movement, but after two albums they returned to Drag City.
The return album for the group was Accelerator. While it would probably not be a big release by Virgin Records standards, the record did moderately well for Drag City. Obviously the group never had any crossover appeal, judging by their album cover of a vomit-and-syringe-filled toilet for the last record on Virgin, Sweet Sixteen. Of course, any band that allegedly spends their record advances on smack and then comes back to the label asking for more money... well, you get the picture.
As stated above, Royal Trux's sound is commonly describeD using the words "dissonant," "junkie," and "nightmare." The sound on Accelerator is a processed, more electronic feel than their previous record; however it still bears the unmistakable imprint of Hagerty's production upon it. The album eschews a large bass sound for more messy chaotic guitar riffing.
On the album's highlight, "Juicy Juicy Juice," the same guitar line is repeated until near the end when you realize that the long drawn out sound of your head slowly imploding is, in fact, a guitar solo that has been stretched out.
For people that want to rock, this is the record for you. This is what the Rolling Stones would be doing right now, if they decided to stop being parodies of themselves.