Album Review – It’s Mick Trouble’s Second LP by Mick Trouble (2022) (Emotional Response Records)

MickTrouble
Listening to a Mick Trouble (aka Jed Smith, Jeanines, My Teenage Stride and Fickle) release, is akin to placing one foot firmly into the twang and jangly chime of the mid to late 80s, anglophile jangle-pop, whilst still somehow finding the other dragging, albeit reluctantly, within the realms of modernity.
Initially, the aptly named It’s Mick Trouble Second LP, cavorts excessively with the best mixtures of dry twanging riffs that the era produced. As such, A Well Known Drag, Me and the Riddle Tree and Living in a Kingdom, all take the gloriously metallic riffs of The Groove Farm and rush incessant rhythms through the crevices of drawn out twang. It is a mix of indie-pop sweet and sour that is fully complimented by a Dan Treacey style, disinterested British estuary accent that reeks of absolute cool.
Similarly when the tempo reduces, the twang is joined by a Triple J and/or Dunedin Sound aesthetic, in tracks such as Keep Your Smile and the superlative, closing triple salvo of Hastings to Normandy, Julia and No Deal.
Here the core arid of the The Bats essence is joined by a jangle-pop sweetness reminiscent of Vehicle era The Clean or the earliest of The Chills releases, in a holistic that just feels like a ‘best of tribute’ or thank you, to all that 80/90s antipodean indie provided us.
Of course, Smith is plainly a disciple of the more obtuse side of leftfield jangle/indie-pop. As such it is even more surprising that he has a definitive lust and indeed acumen for the sumptuous 60s pop melodies that Do Nothing Till Your Hear From Me and The Bleeding Down offer.
Of course Trouble being the maverick he is, has to add his own The Televison Personalities feel to the vocals just to add a little bit of skew, but it never really masks the melodic intent of these outlier tracks.
One of the most consistent, leftfield jangly indie-pop purveyors around, Jed Smith has just completely cemented his reputation.

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