Troublegum (3CD) ****
Infernal Love (2CD) ***
[Released 31st March 2014]
Two Deluxe Editions from Universal, celebrating the 20th anniversary of ‘Troublegum’.
The Irish indie/alternative/punk metal band formed in the late 80s and after a couple of indie releases, signed to A&M. ‘Troublegum’ was the band’s fourth full album and kicks off with rough yet punchy “knives”, a touch shouty and full of energy, followed by the recognisable “Screamager”.
Much of the album is full of grungy riffs. These range from noise metal to beefed up grunge, with odd nods to catchy punk metal (imagine Green Day with balls). Not my thing but given the angles it’s easy to see why the album was so popular in 1994; there were several singles taken from the album that most (even the non fan) will recognise. The 3CD Deluxe edition contains the dog’s bollocks and mutt’s nuts, and the sweepings off the floor too – with alternate mixes, single B-sides, EP tracks and live tracks, a monster package. As a more classic metal fan I did have an OMG moment with the cover of Judas Priest’s “Breaking The Law” – a good riff and good drum line – but they just don’t connect. They’re dimensions so far apart that you need String Theory to reconcile.
The following year’s ‘Infernal Love’ was a slight change of direction – a rougher sound with tracks connected with a soundscape of ambient and industrial effects and melodies.
Some of the chunkier tracks (segments of “Bowels Of Love”) work well, but the strumming, like the industrial soundscapes (within and between tracks) just don’t work so well. It is a moody, brooding and occasionally angry affair.
Again this album, this Deluxe edition a 2CD affair, is stuffed with bonuses, that include live and acoustic numbers.
Both albums, much like the band’s sound, are very much of the mid 90s metal of the non classic variety. ‘Troublegum’ stands out in the indie/punk/alternative/grunge genre and has some catchy tracks, while ‘Infernal Love’ I found a lot more difficult for the non-fan to get into.
Review by Joe Geesin
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