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Innocence and experience
Boston punks remember the Trouble
BY CHRIS RUCKER

The Trouble were a Boston teenage punk rock band who existed from 1996 to 1999, released one album and a couple of seven-inch singles, and played exactly one show outside New England. Unless you were going to all-ages hardcore shows back then, youíve probably never heard of them. But for those who were there, theyíre legendary. Trouble frontman Gibby Miller went on to found the Panic as well as the punk/art/dance night "Start!"; guitarist Sam Cave joined the Explosion. (He left that band late last year.) A pair of Trouble reunion shows were scheduled for this weekend, but for the second time in a year, the reunion was called off. Theyíre promising to do it in the fall; donít hold your breath. Regardless, their lone album, Nobody Laughs Anymore, was reissued last week by Bridge9, and I already interviewed half the city, so screw it: hereís an appreciation anyway. And go buy the record. Itís still great. As Ducky Boys frontman Mark Lind puts it, "At the time I thought they were crazy to throw in the towel. Now I know they were ahead of their time."

"The Trouble were a highly underrated band in their day in my opinion," says Convergeís Jacob Bannon. "Gibbyís character and heart as a frontman really shone through in their music. They were a truly unique and passionate punk band." But they were more than that: in Bostonís insular scene, there was a micro-generation of kids, many of whom went on to form bands and labels, for whom the Trouble were an introduction to punk. "Seeing the Trouble at the Rat when I was 13 years old blew my mind," says Pure Impactís Ian Clark. "They played punk rock the way it was meant to be played: loud and fast and pissed off. They wrote songs that any kid could relate to."

"The Trouble played at one of the first punk shows I ever went to," says Deathwish, Inc.ís Nicole Hollis-Vitale. "They were then and are now one of my favorite bands of all time, and I know a lot of people who feel the same way." Bridge9 Recordsí Max Powers does: "The Trouble were one of the first punk bands I ever got into. I was in ninth grade and got sold out of the Troubleís last show, and I remember my friend was straight-up crying because he couldnít get in."

The band also made a big impact on their contemporaries. Mike McColgan, now frontman of the Street Dogs, played on bills with the Trouble at the Rat back when he was fronting Dropkick Murphys. "In my estimation they were one of the premier bands in the Boston street-punk scene. The thing that set them apart from other acts in the scene was that they didnít conform to the street-punk fashion or act. They never acted as if the only music they liked was punk. Gibby and Sam always wore their [other] influences on their sleeves: i.e., Bauhaus, the Smiths, and the Cure." Not to mention Joy Division, whose "Insights" the Trouble covered as a hidden track on Nobody Laughs Anymore. Those influences would also be on display when Sam joined the Explosion, though not everyone approved. Lovely Ladsí Joe Sylvia half-jokingly calls the Trouble "one of Bostonís greatest hardcore bands, whose singer later went on to change Boston hardcore from punk rock to coke-headed new-wave-loving neo-Mods."

Cave In ended their hiatus this month and are rehearsing with Converge drummer Ben Koller in preparation for their live return July 25 at Great Scott. The bandís Perfect Pitch Black (Hydra Head) is due in September. . . . And the rumors about Rocketscience signing to cash-strapped Warner Bros. turned out to be true, sort of. A bunch of suits showed up to the bandís gig last Thursday at the Middle East, the day before Rocketscience signed with the WB imprint Offshore Records.

Chris Rucker hosts New England Product | Sundays 9-10 pm | WFNX 101.7 FM.


Issue Date: July 15 - 21, 2005
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