RTX: JJ Got Live RaTX (Drag City)
Vocalist Jennifer Herrema was one of the two main brains behind legendary ’90s noise rockers Royal Trux. Witnessed in her latest band, RTX, Herrema’s sound and vision have changed drastically since parting ways with collaborator Neil Hagerty in 2001.
RTX is a band in a universe all its own, where it’s apparently always the summer of 1985. That’s good, although at first listen to JJ Got Live RaTX, it may be the only thing on which many people will focus.
This is indeed a mid-’80s hair-banging guitarist’s wet dream. Herrema snarls, shouts, and sugarcoats her way through several hundred vocal-processing power plants on the ten tracks that make up JJ Got Live RaTX, the second addition to the RTX catalog.
The entire time, she manages to sound like the long-lost love child of Joan Jett‘s black guardian angel, and Iggy Pop‘s street-walkin’ cheetah.
Guitarist Jaimo Welch grinds out smoking mountains of molten crunchy stuff, swirling and splashing every imaginable hue of sonic day-glo paint available. If you listen carefully enough, you can hear the sound of Axl Rose and Vince Neil crapping their diapers all the way from LA.
So turn off the Muppet pop, throw a copy of this in your ride, roll the windows down, cruise the day, and rock on, rebel warrior.
Those seeking a replacement for the halcyon days of Royal Trux’s dirty boogie and spaced-out slammers may be a tad confused. The completely uninitiated should also consider picking up a copy of the Trux’s Sweet 16 as well as the first two RTX recordings, Transmaniacon and Western Xterminator.
– Chris Raths