Trouble: Simple Mind Condition
Trouble - Simple Mind Condition - [Escapi Music Group]


12 years, it's been 12 years since "Plastic Green Head" and the amazing thing is – they sound as if they never went away. Well, maybe for a while, so they can write songs as good as you can find here, this legendary band's 7th release in their 28-year old career.

What's different this time? Not much. Apart from a change of bass players, the lineup is similar to the one on "Green Head". Eric Wagner's voice, one of doom metal's most unique and impressive voices – sounds just like it has in that album, the music is still some of the best groovy doom metal known to man, taking the Black Sabbath influences and mixing them with some great bluesy set-pieces, thus creating some very memorable songs.

While opener "Goin' Home" does exactly that – it's a continuation of the band's classic doom sound, you also get such tracks as "Pictures Of Life", a bluesy number that just simmers with groove, the guitar licks in here are some of the best I've heard in a long, long time.

The tight sound, courtesy of the ever-dependable Vincent Wojno gives the music the extra Oomph it needs, and in such tracks such as "Mindbender" it's crucial. Wagner gives one of his strongest vocal performances ever, Black Sabbath may be thick in the air here, but this is a sound Trouble made it's own, even with a very Iommi-like lead breaks in, it's still a Trouble lead, and these guys can play. The second Wah-Wah break is pure guitar school.

One amazing piece is the strangely named "Arthur Brown's Whiskey Bar". I don’t know what does the god of hellfire have to do with this, but the song has a heavy atmosphere and another great display of skill from Wagner. Drummer Jeff Olson's uptempo section in the song, accompanied by a thick bass line is classic Trouble.

While "Green Head" had a cover version of The Monkeys and The Beatles, this time the guys cover Lucifer's Friend's "Ride The Sky". This German band reached some level of cult status in the early 70's but in the rest of the world they're not exactly well known. If the original version is half good as Trouble's, I should start too look for their albums pretty soon. There's a programmed orchestral hit that adds some serious epic feeling to the track, and Wagner tops it all up by doing his best Robert Plant voice.

"If I Only Had Reason" is one of the most atypical songs this band could have produced; A depressed anthem, accompanied by a piano with a restrained delivery by Wagner. The distortion fits in perfectly when it finally sets in, but this is still far from being something you would have expected Trouble to do. Its goddamn impressive, is what it is.

So, Trouble are back, and they delivered an absolute winner here. The question is- will we have to wait 12 more years for another album? Or will the classic doomsters stay with us this time?

Alon Miasnikov

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