"Plastic Green Head" (Century Media; 1996)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Trouble, largely ignored by critics and the record-buying public alike during their decade-long tenure, never managed to have mainstream success. And I still can’t figure out why! Trouble always had a small, but devoted fan base. It seems to me that Trouble’s solid brand of earthy rock/metal (with some psychedelic, doom, and stoner influences) would have appealed to Sabbath fans, grunge fans, and later-era Metallica as well; and thus quite a large audience to appeal to.

Trouble’s 1995 effort “Plastic Green Head” is a CD worth hearing and it’s not only because in early 2001 that honest-to-goodness hard rock is making a bit of a resurgence. Trouble’s solid hard rock combines bluesy roots with the crunch of metal somehow meeting in the middle without seeming too harsh or too simple.

There are quite a few standout songs on “Plastic Green Head.” The title track is a gritty number that sets the disc off on the right foot. “Opium-Eater” and “Hear The Earth” both swing to their own internal momentum. “The Eye” has a riff that would fit on any either of Metallica’s “Load”-era discs. A couple of slower songs (not really ballads per se) add to the sweltering, but never weak, satisfying hard rock delivery. Two interesting covers are included: Carole King’s “Porpoise Song” and the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” are given the rockin’ Trouble treatment to great effect.

Trouble don’t inspire spastic head banging fits, yet offer a staunch rockin’ CD that is never boring to listen to, well paced, and well played.

“Plastic Green Head” was produced by Trouble and Vince Wojno.

Trouble is Eric Wagner on vocals, Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell on guitars, Ron Holzner on bass, and Jeff Olson on drums.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 18 Sep 2023 21:51:19 -0400 .