Thursday, July 5, 2007

TROUBLE: (1996) Plastic Green Head

It's a shame that Trouble never seem to get the credit or attention they deserve. Bounced from Metal Blade to Def American in the late '80s, for this album this Chicago-based quintet found a home with independent Century Media. Trouble's label really doesn't seem to matter, though: their ability to crank out some of the finest and heaviest psychedelic metal around never diminishes.
Plastic Green Head is prime stuff. While Eric Wagner's occasionally screechy vocals are an acquired taste, the superheavy gothic guitar riffage takes no getting used to. Trouble may have gone through their share of bassists and drummers, but the guitar duo of Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin has remained intact and churning out some seriously damaging sludge since their self-titled Metal Blade debut back in 1984. Trouble does the midtempo throb grooves as well as Corrosion of Conformity or Monster Magnet, but they're versatile enough to pick up the pace when necessary. They even include covers of Carole King's "Porpoise Song" and the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" that suitably honor the original versions--though the heavy-handed psychedelic flair is pure Trouble.
That, in fact, is what makes this band so durable: their versatility and consistency. They've always maintained their sound without being afraid to modify and improve it. Plastic Green Head may not win them a ton of new fans, but it will certainly please the converted and those in search of a solid Sabbath-influenced buzz. --Adem Tepedelen

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