Search - Royal Trux :: Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen
Royal Trux
Sweet Sixteen
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

After four (mostly unexceptional) releases on Chicago's hipper-than-thou indie Drag City, Haggerty and Herrema moved on up to Virgin in 1995, becoming label mates with what's left of their heroes, the Rolling Stones. Some ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Royal Trux
Title: Sweet Sixteen
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Virgin Records Us
Release Date: 2/11/1997
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, American Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724384275228

After four (mostly unexceptional) releases on Chicago's hipper-than-thou indie Drag City, Haggerty and Herrema moved on up to Virgin in 1995, becoming label mates with what's left of their heroes, the Rolling Stones. Some might have considered the David Briggs-produced Thank You a sell-out, but it was as weird, sloppy, and attitudinal as ever. Only this time, there were bona fide pop songs that stuck in your craw, indicating for the first time that the Truckers might be more than just another Lower East Side art-rock rip-off. Sweet Sixteen is even better. To the extent that I care or can be bothered to decipher 'em, the lyrics tackle the same old concerns: sex, drugs, and rock & roll in-jokes. It's the musical settings that matter. Haggerty and lovingly reconstruct every '70s sound they ever smoked a bong or nodded off to: Sly Stone-style funk ("The Pick-Up"), Allman Brothers twin guitars meet prog-rock synths ("Don't Try to Hard"), stoner country-blues-jugband shuffling ("Roswell Seeds & Stems"), and even ultra-ironic Abbey Road-era Beatlemana ("Can't Have It Both Ways"). Of course, Redd Kross and Jellyfish/Imperial Drag (to name but two) have been building winning pop from this junkyard wreckage for quite some time now. But while the members of Royal Trux are coming to the party late, they're arriving with their arms full of treats.Jim Derogatis

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CD Reviews

Underrated yet essential album for true trukkies.
G. Rao | san francisco | 12/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This album is the one most frequently mentioned when you ask people what turned them off of Royal Trux. Rumor even had it that the duo made this album intentionally unlistenable, for the sake of sabotaging their deal with Virgin Records. In my opinion though, it stands out as one of their better efforts. Whereas prior albums tended to be somewhat sparse and low-fi, this one is lush and orchestral. Its stylish prog rock spewed out from the sewers of mars. Haggerty seems to have made a special effort to pack in as many different guitar tones as he could, filling in the remaining gaps with low key synths and even a few dueling horn segments. It was intended to be a representation of the 1970's, complete with decandence, excess, and languid narcissism. Taken as such, it totally hits the mark. It is Exile on Main Street as performed by Curtis Mayfield. "don't try too hard", the first track, is a really great song that rides a neat little bell melody through a mess of tangled guitar pyrotechnics and heavy handed bass and drum grooves. "Cold Joint" is a funk number, with great interplay between the moaning vocals and wah-wah pedal guitar. "ten days, twelve nights" skips along with a characteristically thumping Trux beat and scream, and then dissolves into a morass of sinewy guitar and floating horns, jazz fusion style. Royal Trux flirted with many different rock styles throughout their career, staying loyal to none. This album represents them at their most technical phase, displaying a level of prowess many people didn't realize they even had. If you've already listened to "Cats and Dogs" and "Accelerator", then this should be your next acquisition."
What a trip
G. Rao | 10/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First: One of the greatest rock and roll album covers ever.Second: What a mind-blowing record! Long after giving up on what Royal Trux were going to do next (and having been a fan since the 'Cats and Dogs' days)... I got this when it came out and was TRULY confused. 13 insane rock/funk/blues tracks... all of them very long... all of them with ear-blasting insane production and all of them so complex that it sounds like their is a whole LPs worth of material hidden within each one. The production on this record is AMAZING. How many musicans were on this CD? A zillion? It almost sounds like each number had about 48 tracks of recording and in the final mix-down it was decided to use EVERY track on each song - just pumped up in the studio so each one would stand out rather than mixing into a blur. Wow. Complex psychadelia has never sounded so transcendently pristine. Kind of like "Twin Infinitives" with the production techniques from "Veterans Of Disorder" then multiplied by 1,000,000,000 - does that make sense? And much like "Twin Infinitives" - this highly detailed and monsterous recording would probably take a lifetime to de-code and document. There's so much going on!I love all the RTX releases to varying degrees... but if I had to pick 3 that I think are "masterpieces" they would be "Twin Infinitives", "Cats and Dogs" and "Sweet Sixteen" (with the 'Mercury/Shockwave Rider' 7" a close fourth)"