Jan 18, 2012

Royal Trux - Twin Infinitives (1990)

1. Solid Gold Tooth/Ice Cream/Jet Pet/RTX-USA/Kool Down Wheels (16:19)
2. Chances Are the Comets in Our Future/Yin Jim Versus the Vomit Creature (16:46)
3. (Edge of the) Ape Oven (15:03)
4. Florida Avenue Theme/Lick MyBoots/Glitterburst/Funky Son/Ratcreeps (20:31)

Twin Infinitives is a very polarizing album. You'll either think its incredible or awful. Moreso than a lot of albums of its kind, people who are open to experimental music can hate it just as much as those who aren't

So you've got

1) pretentious avant-garde bullshit played by junkies
2) the second step in the deconstruction of rock n roll
3) Trout Mask Replica for generation x
4) unlistenable shit

which is the usual difference of opinions you get- it's either pretentious and unlistenable or intentionally unlistenable for the sake of some greater project- i.e. deconstructing music, and so it is not dissimilar to undisputed all time great album x

but then you get

5) I love Trout Mask Replica but this is unlistenable (not pretentious, just bad)
6) this is more and less than you expect: it's neither consciously deconstructing the way you listen to music, nor is it bad by any means. It just is.

Seeing how long and famously difficult it is (if these tracks were split into individual tracks I probably wouldn't have found it so taxing), I was actually nervous about listening to it for the first time at work! I thought I was undertaking a big project for some reason. The first time I listened to someone like Merzbow I got used to the noise within a few minutes and then found the experience refreshing and exciting. Twin Infinitives is not like that though. It occasionally does something relatable or recognisable and then departs on some other bizarre avant-noise-rock tangent. The fact that the tracks are grouped together in this way makes each one feel more dependent on the next, so even though you occasionally go hey, I like that!, you know it's only a temporary thing and so the whole listening process is very uneasy.

Romantic in the most gen x way, it sounds like the couple didn't leave their room for a few weeks, recording music for only themselves. I find this makes listening to the album more enjoyable than the Royal Trux are two geniuses self-consciously deconstructing the way we listen to music theory. At the same time though, Neil Michael Hagerty played for Pussy Galore who are nowhere near as strange as this, so there must be some sort of ideology or it'd just sound like bluesy noise rock. He's obviously capable of more than the excellent amateurism that I want to give him credit for. Still, I'm more happy believing that Cats and Dogs is a deconstructionist album because it emulates so much more of the sounds that it deconstructs. It's so close to being conventional but constantly undercuts itself and collapses in a noisy heap. Twin Infinitives is the noisy heaps from Cats and Dogs taken to the extreme and there's really nothing like it. So I can't tell whether it's an intellectual project for rock critics to celebrate and loathe, or a romantically amateurish mess like lo-fi don't give a fuck about music theory guys Half Japanese, just more avant-garde than Jonathan Richman. It would be corny to end this with maybe it just is... Give it time, it's not unlistenable. If you want to think it's a consciously difficult project for intellectual means, then that's cool, think that. If you want to think it's unpretentious lo-fi goodness by way of fuck I don't know there's really nothing else like it- The Dead C?, then think that! It's a disgusting mess and I love it.




  1. Oi!
    Just discovered your blog. Pretty neat. I must say you have almost everything.
    Could you post a file on RTX's album? Or on the new one from Black bananas. It'd be awesome


    1. checking that black bananas out now!

  2. is possible reupload this album ?
    thanx !!!