The Troll – Animated Music (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgPart of the whole Chicago late-60s psych scene alongside their similarly well-produced Dunwich stablemates H.P. Lovecraft, The Troll released a few near-hit singles before this album. Originally released on Mercury’s Smash sublabel, this got not a whole lot of attention in its day…and that’s sad, because there was a goodly bit of psychedelia that probably shouldn’t have made it to the surface before this. It’s quality, although one definitely can tell it’s a ‘period piece’. Still, if it’s a fine 60s flashback you need, just drop this one on…

…and you’re greeted with fine fuzz and ticktocking percussion from the start of side one, with “Satin City News”. Now, it should be noted that the lyrics here tend toward a political and cynical bent…which is about par for much of the album. In amongst the psychedelia, there’s a certain darkness on “Animated Music”, although nothing that would tend to bum one out.

That same acerbic political tack continues on “Mr. Abernathy”, with its classic trem-guitar and poppy horns. While the tale on this track is certainly one of American political scandal, etc, the sound…in fact, the sound throughout the album…is very British. It’s not the sound you’d associate with Chicago at all, really…but something more Abbey Road-ish, with tinges of early Floyd here, a dash of Moodies there, and lots of tape spooling around ala Sir George Martin’s production methods circa “Sgt. Pepper”. (by Lugia)


The Troll’s sole album is extremely diverse late-’60s psychedelia. It’s one of those records you can play over and over again without getting a grip on what exactly the group identity is. For many bands, such a description might be interpreted as a major compliment. The thing is, though, it’s not a record you want to play over and over again, because the material isn’t that good, and the eclecticism is not so much admirable versatility as contrived freakiness. At various times they sniff around hard rock, fruity pop-psychedelia, arch vaudevillian good-time music (“Professor Pott’s Pornographic Projector” and “Have You Seen the Queen?”), and slightly bittersweet folk-rock-flavored pop-psych. The influences of Beatlesque melody and vocal harmonies are strongly felt at times, and there are some periodic interjections of the kind of varispeed vocals and odd effects that major labels only tolerated for a few years or so around the late ’60s. There are glints of appealing fairytale aura pop-psychedelia here and there, as on “A Winter’s Song,” with its pseudo-British orchestration. Overall, it’s an unmemorable mish-mash, however, and the far-out jollity and menace it seems to often aim for is more forced than inspired. (by Ritchie Unterberger)

This entry is dedicated to all these crazy little bands from the Psch-Rock scene in the late Sixties including all these funny covers …


Richard Clark (organ, vocals)
Ken Cortese (aka Ken Apples) (drums)
Richard Gallagher (guitar, vocals)
Max Jordan, Jr. (bass, vocals)
Skeep Bushor (horns)


01. Satin City News 2.38
02. Mr. Abernathy 3.17
03. Fritz And Sweeney 4.47
04. Everybody’s Child 2.52
05. Solitude 0.32
06. I’ve Only Myself To Blame 3.47
07. Professor Pott’s Pornographic Projector 2.58
08. Have You Seen The Queen 2.20
09. Mourning Of Day 5.09
10. A Winter’s Song 3.59
11. Werewolf And Witchbreath 5.13