Pound For Pound

The beauty of [a]Royal Trux[/a] lies in a combination of grime, dirt and sleaze.

Pound For Pound

7 / 10 The beauty of Royal Trux lies in a combination of grime, dirt and sleaze. Think of Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema as the voices of twin crows, screeching away at each other over The Rolling Stones' 'Exile On Main Street' played backwards, and you'll understand. As a rough'n'ready document of their live prowess, these ten new tunes, recorded with little fuss, are a testament to raw power.

Rock'n'roll, to these West Virginians, means making a personal document that is at once chaotic, seemingly random and yet very carefully thought out. For all the looseness of 'Deep Country Sorcerer', its central coda - where 'Pound For Pound' first starts getting really wigged-out - could only have been accomplished by people who work things out in advance. Even the voodoo drum excursion that frames 'Doctor Gone' leaves a feeling of careful orchestration.

Where Royal Trux really let themselves go is in the obtuse subject matter and its freaky delivery. After two albums of expert digital manipulation, a suite of gritty, sometimes languid songs about jealousy ('Accelerator'), love of music ('Call Out The Lions'), and love of love (the rootsy 'Small Thief') shows the couple's refusal to do the expected is intact. And we're better off for it.

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