Thursday, February 17, 2011

Royal Trux - too many notes, rubbish for rollerskating to

Royal Trux review-essay for The National here. It's a response to the re-issue of their first four albums, a brief discussion of rockism and the avant-garde, and to their obsession with Ornette Coleman's free jazz theory of 'harmolodics'.
Their impact was such that they were seduced into a lucrative three-album deal with Virgin Records, a partnership which led to predictable unhappiness on both sides. The band were angry at being asked to compromise their sound and make more commercially viable rock music, while the label allegedly told them their work was "confusing", contained "too many notes", and best of all, according to Hagerty, that "children need something to rollerskate to". It's probably fair to say that rollerskating to Royal Trux at their most experimental could easily have left people hospitalised.


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