Royal Trux - Platinum Tips + Ice Cream

“As for a reunion, it will never happen. It is just too depressing.” This is what Neil Hagerty told Pitchfork in 2012, so it’s kind of odd that just three years later he stepped out on stage once more with fellow Royal Trux bandmate Jennifer Herrema. Arguing that they aren’t beloved like fellow 90s musicians Pavement, he told Time Out in 2015 that there’s no nostalgia for their music, “There isn’t much to support in the way of nostalgia for the era … The money had to balance out how much I didn’t want to do it.”

Even with this intense dislike of reuniting, Hagerty and Herrema have not only been touring but are now releasing an album, a real stereotypical comeback. Rather than putting in the time to craft a new LP from scratch, the pair have opted for a rough and ready live best of.

Thrown together over just a weekend, Platinum Tips and Ice Cream is the raw sound of Royal Trux playing live together for the first time in over a decade. The rumour goes that neither Herrema or Hagerty had seen each other since the split until the very moment before they stepped on stage in 2015, and although nothing more than Chinese Whispers, there is something to their erratic sound that feeds it.

In a way unique to themselves, the live sound brings a rugged edge to the cleaner cut releases from their short lived days on Virgin, but somehow smooths out their earlier lo-fi tracks.

The press release that accompanies the album describes it as ‘an INSANE hairball of sound.’ On the contrary, Platinum Tips.. is probably one of the band’s tamest albums to date. Cherry picking some of their most easily accessible tracks such as ‘Sewers of Mars’, ‘Waterpark’ and ‘Banana Question’, this is probably a great starting point for somebody who is new to their music.

Stringing together an entire career, the scuzzy live recordings stay true to the band’s indie origins, while snapshots of audience noise give a feel for the live atmosphere. Whether it’s familiar territory or new ground, this feels like an entirely approachable album. No wild surprises or curveballs, just their best bits.

Overall

Safe ground for the 90s duo.

6

out of 10
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