Friday, July 3, 2020

Bobb Trimble - Life Beyond The Doghouse (rec. 1983/86)

Bobb Trimble - Life Beyond The Doghouse

featuring The Violent Reactions and The Crippled Dog Band
Recorded: 1983 & 1986 // Released: 2002 Orpheus Records ORPH005
~ThePoodleBites rip in 96kHz / 24 bit FLAC + full high-res scans~

In 1982, with two totally unrecognized psychedelic masterpieces under his belt, and after his previous "Kidds" band had been dismantled by suspicious parents, 24-year-old Bobb Trimble decided to join up with some marginally older junior-high students to form The Crippled Dog Band, apparently a name inspired by a local 3-legged dog they lovingly called Boopsie. The band made an album's worth of recordings but soon fell apart, and in 1984, deciding it was best to just forget the whole thing, Bobb disposed of an entire 500 pressing run he had made of Crippled Dog LPs into a dumpster. Fast forward twenty years and Bobb is an underground indie psych legend, and with a reissue extant of his first two records' material on Parallel World, Bobb decided it was time to let some unreleased material out of the vaults. Thus Life Beyond The Doghouse was born, released on the Danish label Orpheus Records in 2002. 

The change of band also corresponded to a change of sound, and while these recordings are still unquestionably in Bobb's unique style, they feature more influences from the '80s "new wave" of rock 'n' roll than from the introspective psychedelia which this reviewer prefers. Others' opinions may differ; Bobb himself apparently called the group's style "high-energy psychedelia... a cerebral kind of band." There are definitely a few tracks which shine, and one ("Deep Inside My Heart") that could've even fit in on Harvest Of Dreams, but there are also some songs which I'll probably have no desire to hear again. The decent "Blood Of The Lamb" (featuring The Violent Reactions) shows Bobb revealing some newfound Christian influences, and has a fuzzy overdub which sounds experimental enough to be inviting. The three central tracks on the B-side are entertaining, with phased guitars and sound effects such as shrieks, claps, trains, and talking, and all appear to be studio tracks with enough reverb added on the (modern) mix that they sound like they're live in a small auditorium.

Bobb Trimble & The Crippled Dog Band
The pressing leaves some sound quality to be desired; while actually surprisingly quiet, it has some issue similar to other modern pressings where natural musical sibilances are heavily distorted. "Camel Song," in fact, is so distorted that it is barely listenable. These distortions are on the vinyl itself and are not from my transfer.

Overall I'd say this feels like a nice collection of demos/outtakes for Bobb enthusaists that is pretty much non-essential for anyone who isn't already in love with his two real gems, Harvest Of Dreams and Iron Curtain Innocence. For those who like the Crippled Dog Band material, another album exists (and can be easily found on LP or CD) simply called The Crippled Dog Band, featuring more of the band's original 1983/84 recordings.

Bobb & Boopsie
Track Listing:
1) "Deep Inside My Heart" - 3:20
2) "Home In Heaven" - 2:51
3) "Shattered Images" - 5:16
4) "Blood Of The Lamb" - 8:36
5) "Undercover Man" - 4:00
6) "Angel Eyes" - 3:03
7) "Legends From The Past / Warpath Blues / Fight Or Fall" - 6:50
8) "Generation Gap / Live Wire" - 5:51
9) "Camel Song" - 3:06

Track 1-3 Bobb Trimble solo
Track 4 with The Violent Reactions
Track 5-9 with The Crippled Dog Band

Vinyl Condition: M
Dynamic Range: DR 12

Equipment Lineage:
– Audio-Technica VMN40ML stylus on AT150MLx dual moving-magnet cartridge
– Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB direct drive professional turntable (internal stock preamp/ADC removed)
– TCC TC-754 RIAA phono preamp (new regulated power supply, added LM7812 regulator)
– Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 MkII (96kHz / 24bit)
– Adobe Audition CC 2020 (recording)
– iZotope RX 7 audio editor (manual declicking, EQ subtraction, additional adjustments)
– Audacity 2.3.3 (fades between tracks, split tracks)
– Foobar2000 v1.5.1 (tagging, dynamic range analysis)

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