The appearance of Trouble at B.B. King Blues Club was a show that I was looking forward to from the moment that it had first been announced. Yes, I admit that I cover a lot of great shows at this place but this was going to be one of those events that throws you back in time to the "Old School", now often referred to as "Traditional". If you only heard their name and not the music, let me inform you that Trouble was an American "Doom Metal" band that was playing a style very similar to that of Black Sabbath, and during a time when there was not much of this genre to speak of. "Hair Metal" and "Glam Rock" were the reigning kings of the video Metal outlets of the day and Trouble was a band that simply did not fit among their number. Late 2006 saw the re-issue and remaster of the band's first two releases Psalm 9 (which was originally called Trouble) and the masterpiece The Skull (1984 and 1985 respectively) on Escapi Music. They would come with enhanced packaging and bonus DVD's that would present footage unavailable anywhere else. It is a dose of the pure and heavy roots that Metal draws its breath from and for all who attended this was going to be a good time.
Read on for Ken Pierce's complete review of the show!
A local band presented their wares as the only opener for the show and they were done rather quickly. I was surprised that I did not find another heavy hitter performing since that would have added more appeal to the show and possibly increased the crowd attendance. At a glance there seemed to be about 500 people in attendance which was not bad for a Sunday night especially given the attending demographic. Everyone around me was in my age group or older and had been fans of the guys since the beginning. Suddenly smoke wafted across the stage as the first notes of crushing Doom began to cut the air of the venue and it was on. The great part for the crowd was that this was the full original lineup with the exception of the first bassist who had left in 2005 sometime. The twin guitar work of Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin was awesome as their riffs trudged along like a slow train and as you looked across the crowd you would find everyone's head acting in unison with the slow doomy grooves. Bruce was a lot more animated than Rick but you could still tell that both of them were having a great time and appreciated this audience very much. Singer Eric Wagner smiled behind pitch black shades and I always felt that he had one of the most unique tones of voice in Metal with his register being on the high side. The drums were getting pounded by Jeff Olson who was rightly in place once again on the chair and I really was enjoying the way he was working and the sound he was getting out of his kit. Traditionally, he had used a mammoth kit in the days when such sights were commonplace but tonight he would be a minimalist and just have the basics with some added cymbals. The bass would be held down by Chuck Robinson.
I have to say that the response from the audience in general was great and the band could feel it and delivered in kind as a result. The set did not seem too long based on the number of tunes but when you are dealing with Stoner Doom Metal there are some long sections to enjoy and this would be par for the course tonight. They played tracks off "The Skull" and "Psalm 9" as well as a couple from the forthcoming album "Simple Mind Condition" which I have yet to hear. For those that missed tonight's show I felt that they really missed out on a good time, because everyone here knew the Metal of old and were reminiscing between band sets and enjoying beers and comparing what goes on today as against what led up to it. It's great to see a good response for guys like this who deserve it, but I did feel that some more of the minions could have ventured out. Trouble is not a band that comes around often but lets hope as the new CD breaks US Ground that this will not be the case much longer. My only other gripe would be the absence of the song "Misery Shows" and "The Wolf" which I really consider as part of my favorites in this bands catalog. There is a DVD concert available from Stockholm filmed in 2005 and those remasters are must haves for any Metal heads collection if you ask me. If you are someone who considers themselves a fan of the way that Metal used to be done then isn't it time to get into a little Trouble?
3. Come Touch The Sky
4. Plastic Green Head
8. End Of My Daze
9. Going Home
11. All Is Forgiven
14. Bastards Will Pay
15. Psychotic Reaction
Official Web site: www.newtrouble.com