Bobb Trimble – Iron Curtain Innocence


Review:

Bobb Trimble’s 1980 debut (released on his own label) contains nightmarish folk-rock that fits squarely in the lineage of bedroom psychedelia from Syd Barrett to modern artists like Alex G or Holy Sons.

The slow, ominous groove of “Glass Menagerie Fantasies” creeps in from squeals of a radio dial. Psychedelic, interlocking layers of guitars play in all 3 channels while Bobb sings about “your imaginary world of fantasies” with his pixie-like multi-layered vocals. The track adds levels of intensity through adding fuzzy fat bass riffs or horror-movie synth solos. While the opener is definitely eerie, the second track “Night at the Asylum” takes these vibes to an almost comedic level through samples of cackling witches and screaming and deranged laughing in the background, invoking the feeling like taking hallucinogens at some Halloween theme park. The nightmare continues on “When the Raven Calls”, which starts with a driving guitar solo and ghostly vocals that settle into a beat of dark marching drums and squelching synths. Trimble describes the apocalyptic imagery of “World War III” and his “dreams turned to ashes”. When his lyrics get more personal they often borderline on obsessive, especially throughout the masochistic dirge “Your Little Pawn” (“I’d even sacrifice my life for you if I had to”, “you’re throwing my love into flames”, “You abuse me, I’m your little pawn”, etc).

Side B is sandwiched by both a short and a long version of the album’s brightest and most accessible track: the dreamy “One Mile from Heaven”. Despite its optimistic tone and catchy melodies Trimble’s lyrics still verge on obsessive with lines like

Other lines are extremely apologetic, like “Give me courage to see your success, while I’m failing at every dream”. The guitar solos are extremely satisfying with their melodicism.

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