Ok. I've been trying to complete my Trouble collection for a long. long time now. Seems like all of their long lost recordings from the late 1980's on are finally back in print. SIMPLE MIND CONDITION, PLASTIC GREEN HEAD, MANIC FRUSTRATION, and TROUBLE. I'm working on getting all of these long lost out of print gems. I just purchased PLASTIC GREEN HEAD (1996) last night and let me tell you, it blew me away.
PLASTIC GREEN HEAD has been long out of print and impossible to find for over a decade. I never even got a chance to hear this album when it originally came out. It was supposed to be a solid follow up to their previous release MANIC FRUSTRATION. I never found it anywhere. It appeared and disappeared that fast. So today, after more than ten years waiting, I'm lucky enough to have my hands on this album and I'm anxious to deliver a review.
PLASTIC GREEN HEAD comes off as a bit more sedate and unsettling Trouble album. It has the vibe of having taken one too many trips....that feeling of being scared to put one foot back into reality. It also conveys a sort of dry, frayed nerve endings, burnt out vibe that can be a bit unnerving but really works to this album's advantage.
There are really two styles of music on this album. The first is a detatched, burnt out, heavy as hell doom....Trouble's riffs have never been so vicious yet so subtle. Eric Wagner's vocals sound a bit distanced and at the same time more painful, but that only adds to the strength of the album. The riffs are incredible..the best of Trouble's career so far. Check out" Plastic Green Head" and "Long Shadows Fall".
The second style that Trouble puts forth on PLASTIC GREEN HEAD is one they had been attempting to perfect on their two previous releases TROUBLE and MANIC FRUSTRATION. The crushing, melodic, psychedelic doom ballad...a heavy slab of depression featuring the bleakest harmonies of THE BEATLES and the dirge-like qualities of the works of DONOVAN comibined into one. Really just heavy 1960's melodic psychedelic doom. They have perfected that sound on this release. Listen to "REQUIEM"...and marvel at their version of THE MONKEES' "PORPOISE SONG"....this has got to be one of the gloomiest psych rock songs ever recorded. There is also a Beatles song on here, "TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS". One thing I really noticed here: There is a lack of the Christian overtones that one has grown to expect from Trouble. It is as if the band had descended into a downward, drug-induced spiral....and I can't complain one bit. This would be their last album until about ten years later when they re-grouped and recorded SIMPLE MIND CONDITION.
All in all, PLASTIC GREEN HEAD is an excellent, crushing, TROUBLE album. It is a bit dry, but if you can get over that fact, this is a solid release, worthy to be in the collection of any self-respecting fan of all things retro and doom.