Review Summary: Where everything you think could go wrong with a live album goes wrong.
There’s nothing too complicated about what to do with hardcore punk rock, it’s all about the intensity of the music being retained, and the only logical direction to go with the music in order for an artist to best oneself without getting experimental, is by making it more intense and adrenaline pumping. So to keep classic hardcore punk fresh, different, and moving forward in the only real direction it could move, it’s not so much about the music itself, but doing the same thing more powerful than before. It’s all about the insanity and the energy, so what matters to the die-hard fans is a race about who can become the most extreme at this, and loosing themselves in that power is all they really care about. The crazier the better.
The rush of punk can be limited and contained within the confides of an album, so punk was never really about the records, as to truly enjoy and get the fully desired effect that punk could offer, the visual experience of the live shows where a necessity, as they went beyond what a record could accomplish in terms of experience outside of just listening. This is the reason the Sex Pistols only released one album aside from them being together for only 3 years, punk is best live because of the insane showmanship that compliments the unbound and unrestrained rawness of live energy, and brings the music to its real intended level.
GG Allin was all about this, making himself as disgustingly controversial and publicly obscene as possibly, getting more offensive in live stuns and lyrics as he could imagine in a clearly insane mind. To understand what he was really about, it wasn’t the audio you listened to, listeners needed to attend a live show and see the unbelievable and disturbing acts he committed on stage that aid the music and convey his message. It’s questionable whether or not it’s enjoyable, or if he was just a laughable druggy stumbling about in a state anything but sober at all times, but whether you enjoyed it or not, it was undoubtedly forgettable.
Now, because in the case of live GG Allin shows, since all sense of musicality doesn’t just take a back seat to his stage antics while performing live, they get in the trunk, you really need to be there live for it to count or anything at all and be somewhat interesting even if you’re nothing be repulsed. Even releasing a DVD would at least give a visual of the show, but wouldn’t be the same as actually physically being there in the atmosphere for being for whatever would unfold to be an impactful moment for attendees to interpret for better or worse.
Keeping all of this in mind, it’s possibly one of the stupidest ideas ever to release a GG Allin live album. Anyone who experienced this tour will remember it for being there and seeing it happen in real life, and take it as a live show or an epidemic, and a DVD would be contained and look stupid, but it would at least give a visual so one could see the point of GG Allin’s live shows and why he caused a lot of talk in the first place, so people could then argue if the content is ballsy or just gross, but with live albums that like Anti-Social Personality disorder, any person who has ears will agree that this is one of the worst sounding listening experiences of all time.
The idea of releasing only a recording of his live shows, an experience limited to only listening to the audio, is completely missing the point as it is. GG Allin was controversial because of his stage antics, he made seeing him live, actually about SEEING him live, not just hearing the songs played, watching him do stuff. So, since GG Allin threw all musicality out the window when performing and concentrated on acting like a madmen, and if we can’t see this, we are left with music that wouldn’t even be recognizable as human let alone GG Allin.
Without his live shows, GG Allin’s music is the same as all other hardcore punk artists, a random blur of furious guitars with no sense to grasp, the only thing that makes him distinguishable that isn’t visually based is his lyrical subject matter, which put quite a few panties in a knot, so only hearing this music which isn’t his focus but a foundation, is pointless on it’s own, but only HEARING it performed this terribly, and captured in this bad of quality, brings it down to a depth of hell all on its own.
This album has remarkably bad recording quality, it can seriously be debated about whether or not a potato was indeed involved in the recording of this show. It sounds like everything that could go wrong with recording a bootleg, it is muffled, static-soaked, and flat out indistinguishable noise at frequent times. Everything couldn’t have been performed worse, Allin is the polar opposite of sober in all regards, and mumbles and whines in a drugged out daze, sounding close to a painful agonizing death quite a few times. With this being standard hardcore punk already, it doesn’t help that we are forced to heard only this especially when it’s played this badly and recorded this poorly. Forget about GG’s subject matter making the music stand out here, as he is in such a state, that he can barely form words as it is. It’s good that there’s a track-list, otherwise is would be impossible to tell where each song ends, let alone what songs he’s playing, though he himself probably didn’t even know at the time of the performance.
This would have been a better DVD, as we’d get to see this happening at least, but since we only have a recording, we are forced to listen to something that is basically unlistenable and anything but enjoyable. This is not something anyone will want to hear on repeated listens, it’s not a pleasing listen, it is painful and illogical to try to make it through this for any other reason than criticism, it is just a terrible listening experience in every way imaginable, a fast and incomprehensible blur of drunken noise in poor quality, and that’s it. It really couldn’t have gotten any worse in terms of something just plain bad to hear. It should of been a DVD so we aren’t left with just this, but the funny thing about all this is, if GG Allin where alive today, he would have wanted this to sound even worse than it is.