I’m glad I wasn’t a fan of TROUBLE in 2007, because this album must have been the biggest disappointment of the year. After reuniting in 2002, TROUBLE announced that they were writing new material for another album and then apparently dicked around for five years because the damn thing never surfaced until 2007. So, you’d think that if you had five years to make an album, you could turn it into something exceptional, right? Well, maybe you could, but TROUBLE couldn’t. Not this time.
The songs on “Simple Mind Condition” are basically the two previous albums (“Plastic Green Head” and “Manic Frustration”) at half power. Instead of the slow, yet bumpy and catchy Doom riffs and blazing solos from “Plastic Green Head”, we’re left with boring riffs that have no signature TROUBLE creativity, and truly half assed solos. Oh, and I hope you weren’t expecting something in the vein of their early albums, because there’s none of that here. The mundane opener, “Goin’ Home” makes no effort to grasp your attention. Sure, the bass is cool for the first thirty seconds, but that doesn’t excuse the boredom that is the remainder of the song. The riffs are too simple to captivate and the solo, which started out really cool, ended after twelve seconds. Eric Wagner’s vocals are still intact, but they’re actually fairly lame in comparison to earlier material. Unfortunately, this song speaks well for what the rest of the album holds. It’s surprising how aimless the tracks generally feel. They’re all around the same length, with only one song reaching over five minutes, and all sound very similar. The songs have little in them to distinguish themselves, and after a few tracks, it just becomes difficult to care anymore. To top it off, the production is so bland and modern that it robs any personality the songs might have had. There’s no potent atmospheres unlike TROUBLE’s classic debut, “Psalm 9”.
While none of the songs are abysmal within themselves, there’s also no redeeming factors that might make this more of an interesting experience. Now with Eric out of the band, who the hell knows what they’ll sound like next? Shouldn’t be hard to beat this.
Guest review by Rory Say
(Online May 3, 2010)