Milktrain to Paydirt

Trumans Water

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Milktrain to Paydirt Review

by Stephen Cramer

Trumans Water's indie rock chaos continued on 1995's Milktrain to Paydirt. Their unabashedly youthful decision to not play the game gave way to some of the best freewheeling and spontaneous indie thrash rock of the 1990s. The disc begins with the dizzying "Mechanical Days Safety System," with crunchy, scorching guitars blazing around manic vocals. The band's music was never cohesive, never following the standard rules of musical structure. While they mellow out at times, like on "Spectro Helio Scope," it's merely their attempt to give the listeners a chance to catch their breath. The whimsical cut and paste of "Stares From New Enemies" only adds to the already reckless musical environment. The music on Milktrain to Paydirt may seem to be similar to the thought processes of a drunken maniac, but they would not be able to pull it off so effortlessly were it not for the thoughtful, sober deliberation of the group. The music is never straightforward, like on the horn-filled "American Fat," with a schoolyard tale being told behind dizzying instrumentation, forcing the listener to process music coming from various sources. Thurston Moore and Azalia Snail made guest appearances on the disc. Brendan Bell and Jeff Fuccillo guested on saxophone and clarinet. The album was the first Trumans Water album without singer Glen Galloway, before his eventual return on 1998's Fragments of a Lucky Break.

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