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Royal Trux

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(1987 – 2001)

Royal Trux was an American alternative rock band from 1987 to 2001, founded by Neil Hagerty (vocals, guitar) and Jennifer Herrema (vocals).

While still a teenager, Hagerty joined Washington DC garage punk band Pussy Galore, led by Jon Spencer, and subsequently relocated to New York. During his time in Pussy Galore, Hagerty convinced his bandmates to release a cassette-only remake of the entire Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street. While he gained underground notoriety for his work with Pussy Galore, Hagerty reportedly viewed it as a job and intended to pursue his own artistic vision with his girlfriend, Jennifer Herrema, under the name Royal Trux.

Hagerty and Herrema released their first album, Royal Trux, in 1989. Then, after moving to San Francisco, Royal Trux released the experimental double-album Twin Infinitives.

After Twin Infinitives, Royal Trux released an untitled album (sometimes referred to as the Skulls record because of its sleeve artwork). Forgoing the experimentalism of Twin Infinitives, the band instead opted for a more lo-fi approach, recording on an 8-track. This albumn was left untitled. The arguably atypical lyricism and sonic atonality of their first album was largely abandoned in favor of a more stripped, direct sound.

Following the release of their untitled album, Hagerty and Herrema hired a guitarist and drummer in order to complete their fourth full-length, Cats and Dogs. The songwriting remained highly experimental, but was more melodic, which was revealed on tracks such as “The Flag,” “The Spectre,” and “Turn of the Century.”

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