TROUBLE (1984–PRESENT). Original lineup: Eric Wagner (vocals), Bruce Franklin (guitar), Rick Wartell (guitar), Ian Brown (bass), Jeff Olson (drums).
Innovators of doom metal and its hearkening back to Black Sabbath’s and other ’70s metal slower-paced approach, Chicago’s Trouble earned something of a cult following, but never made the commercial inroads enjoyed by their faster-paced speed metal contemporaries.
Trouble released their self-titled debut in 1984, on the Metal Blade label. The album established their seventies-oriented style. Their Christian perspective also led to their being labeled a “white-metal” group. Their second album, The Skull, released in 1985, consolidated the band’s reputation, but like the debut went against the tastes of the period and failed to stir much widespread interest.
After the weaker 1987 album Run to the Light, the band lost their deal with Metal Blade. 1990 saw the band get a reprieve when producer Rick Rubin signed the band to his Def American label and produced their next album, the self-titled Trouble in 1990. Earning the band the widespread critical attention they had long sought, the album was a shot in the arm for the band, and they embarked on an extensive tour in support of it. Another excellent album followed the next year with Manic Frustration, an album title that might well have described the band’s feelings as Def American dropped the band after the album failed to make any significant inroads with the record-buying public.
Shortly after the release of one more album, 1995’s Plastic Green Head, Trouble officially disbanded, with the band’s members going off to a variety of separate projects. Finally, in 2007, after having sporadically reunited for various one-off performances, the band officially regrouped, releasing the album Simple Mind Condition.
Discography: Psalm 9 (Metal Blade, 1984); The Skull (Metal Blade, 1985); Run to the Light (Metal Blade, 1987); Trouble (Def American, 1990); Manic Frustration (Def American, 1991); Plastic Green Head (CEN, 1995); Warrior (Sma, 2005, 2007); Simple Mind Condition (Escapi, 2008).