Written By: Joe Cardenas
Label: Vagrant – Rating:
The live album. Often overlooked and discerned by fans.
The live album is loved by some, but equally hated by others. A live album is tricky, as it sometimes does not represent the band or their sound as well as fans hope. It is also seen as inferior because hearing the live performance is not the same as seeing it or hearing it in person. So with the complexity of the live album and its arguable concept, will BRMC’s album Live succumb to these faults?
I was a bit curious to see how BRMC would perform their songs live. Knowing the instrumental effects they use, and the polished sound their albums have, it could have been a disaster. They really did an excellent job of transcribing the sounds, although not exactly the same, they still produce the same energy but with a grungier and more punk-rock effect. It’s pretty rad hearing your favorite BRMC songs in that sense, a reason in itself to hear this album out.
The first track ‘Weapon of Choice’ really had me worried as the quality of the sound is really disappointing, and reoccurring mic problems makes matters worse. The low quality is reminiscent of underground garage-bands, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I was expecting more. Things do pick up on the second track thankfully, and the energy and clarity that was missing in the previous track becomes more apparent. Listeners might get put off by this as it is not common to start the album with the worst track.
The album really starts to gain some momentum after the first two songs. Notable tracks include: ‘Berlin,’ ‘No Easy Way Out,’ and a beautiful rendition of the classic folk song ‘Dirty Old Town.’
The energy is consistent all the way ’till the end. The instruments are clearly heard and it’s a nice surprise to hear the bass so dominantly. I really wasn’t aware of how much the bass contributed to BRMC’s songs, a good example of how implementable bass guitar is to the foundation of a tune.
Despite low quality and sound issues in certain songs, BRMC’s album, Live is still fun to listen to. All their hits are played and a good amount of energy is put into it. Fans will definitely want to include this to their collection cause it offers their favorite songs in a new light and shows the skillfulness of BRMC’s ability to playing live.