Royal Trux: Quantum Entanglement

Quantum Entanglement is a compilation collecting fourteen tracks from Royal Trux’s career as far back as 1992. While not a “Best Of…” by name, Quantum Entanglement does attempt to pull together the strongest material from seven of the eleven Royal Trux studio albums, tossing in the B-side “Shockwave Rider” at the very end. Of the LPs represented, 1998’s Accelerator is given the most attention with three songs appearing. The least represented albums being 1995’s Thank You, the band’s untitled third album, and last year’s White Stuff with only one song appearing from each.

The record opens with “I’m Ready”, the first song from what is considered by many to be the duo’s best work, Accelerator. It’s a no-brainer of an opener as, in addition to having Neil Hagerty’s superb lead guitar work all over it, the track features vocals from both Jennifer Herrema and Hagerty. The hard rocking “Waterpark” keeps things moving before the woozy “Ray O Vac” appears and pulls the tempo back slightly. The next two offerings take from Cats and Dogs (“The Spectre”) and Pound for Pound (“Platinum Tips”) in advance of Quantum Entanglement returning for a second time to Accelerator with the touching “Stevie (for Steven S.)”. It’s an odd choice in the sequence, especially since the record isn’t even half over and four of the band’s studio albums haven’t -and won’t be- drawn from at all. Regardless, “Stevie…” is an excellent moment that a collection like this would be remiss not to include.

A shift occurs on the outset of Quantum Entanglement’s second half. The cheery “Stop” starts things off in fine form, with Hagerty giving every last bit of himself vocally. Hagerty’s appropriately world-weary singing style appears again on the touching, acoustic “Junkie Nurse”. The majority of side two finds the selections comparatively mellow up until the title track from 2019’s White Stuff arrives just prior to the album’s out-of-character ender, “Shockwave Rider”, which features sampled drums, psychedelic synth effects, and phase-shifting vocals. Overall, Quantum Entanglement is an adequate primer for those new to Royal Trux, but fans of the band looking for a more comprehensive overview of the group’s oeuvre may want to hold out for something more substantial.

Rating: 6.5/10