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Articles Home » 1994 Articles » Trixter - 1994 Undercovers
Trixter - 1994 Undercovers

ARTIST: Trixter
ALBUM: Undercovers
LABEL: Backstreet
SERIAL: 79150 80003-2
YEAR: 1994


LINEUP: Peter Loran - guitar, vocals * PJ Farley - bass, vocals, percussion * Steve Brown - lead guitar, dobro, lapsteel, blues harp, vocals * Mark 'Gus' Scott - drums, vocals * Liad Cohen - guest keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Pump It Up * 02 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover * 03 Terrible Lie * 04 Take The Long Way Home * 05 Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap * 06 Revolution * 07 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (unplugged) * 08 Fight For Your Right (To Party) (recorded live)


Still best known for their self-titled debut album from 1990 and US hit single 'Give It To Me Good', Trixter's time as bright, shining stars was to be relatively short. Their second outing, 'Hear', was greeted by a much smaller audience than the debut, especially in the UK. So then, this their third album would be prove to be make-or-break for the band. Everyone told Trixter that releasing an album of covers at that point in their career would be a mistake. So the boys figured that would be reason enough to go ahead and do it anyway.

The Songs
The result shows a diverse selection of tunes and influences. Kicking off with a rousing version of Elvis Costello's 'Pump It Up' sets a great tone for this release. It's a solid version, chunkier than the bespectacled one's original and a little slower perhaps, but altogether works well. The Trixter treatment of Supertramp's 'Take The Long Way Home' is faultless, with a fantastic lead vocal from Loran and a cool guitar solo. The original, as most of you will know, is a superb tune and Trixter deserve bravery medals for daring to take it on! Paul Simon's '50 Ways to Leave Princess Leia' (er, sorry, that should be 'Your Lover'!) gets aired twice here, in both electric and acoustic versions. Both versions are equally as good in my opinion and I can't imagine that the short world-music dabbler would be upset if he'd heard it. The cover of AC/DC's 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' is fair enough. The musical stomp of the original is present, though without the classic drunken vocals of the legendary Bon Scott, it does sound a little odd. The Lennon and McCartney composition 'Revolution' has almost become a standard nowadays, but always comes across with plenty of gusto when left in the hands of any band with glammy roots. Given the Trixter treatment, it's good and chunky. For the record though, Enuff Z'nuff are the holders of the 'Revolution' crown. When I saw them play it live it was super-trashy! The remaining two choices on the CD are not ones you'd expect. They've definitely been thrown in as curve-balls to surprise the listener. The version of the Beastie Boys drunken-Jock anthem 'Fight For Your Right' is fun to say the least, but it's the inclusion of 'Terrible Lie' - originally from the Nine Inch Nails debut 'Pretty Hate Machine' - that gets me every time. Trixter plays NIN? Surely not! It really ought not to work, but rather surprisingly, it does. Don't forget folks, NIN mainman Trent Reznor has a melodic rock past. Please don't tell him I reminded you!

In Summary
As you've probably realised, 'Undercovers' was not a multi-platinum seller and, sadly, proved to be the band's swansong. However, there have been glimmers of life after Trixter. PJ and Steve have re-surfaced as members of 40 Ft Ringo and Pete Loran released an iffy solo album featuring collaborations with John Allen III of Sect.8 and Bone Machine fame. Whatever else the future may hold for the individual band members, it's great to be able to remember them as they were on 'Undercovers' - a band who knew how to have fun.

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