Strung Out: live in a Dive; is the fourth c.d on Fat Wreck's 'live in a dive' series, but unlike some live albums that are just cheaply thrown together, poor sounding records made simply to keep a bands fans happy since the band hasn't released anything for several years, here we have a thouraghly enjoyable album.
This C.D displays a positive outlook on Strung Out's music, featuring some of the best songs spanning their long career over four albums, several eps and just over ten years as a band. The focus on the whole career makes the C.D perfect for long time Strung Out fans or those unfamiliar with them. The listner is treated to a lot of variety in the C.D, as the C.D ranges from hard hitting punk tunes like 'Everyday' or 'Bring out you're Dead' to amazingly creative, technical masterpieces such as 'The Kids' or 'Velvet Alley' to relatively lighter more melodic tracks like "Exhumation of Virginia Madison" and just to tip the balance for every poppier track they have plenty of heavier harder songs like the phychotic 'Ultimate Devotion' or brooding 'Savant'.
Not only does this disc feature a great range songs, but for a live album it is very well produced. The atmosphere of a live punk show is captured well as the opening track begins with about two minutes of crowd cheers that range from rowdy shouting, to united chanting before a rumbling tom beat initiates further frenzeying of the crowd. A kind of tension grows during this opening section, but as the climax is reached when we hear the familiar voice of the bands frontman scream 'whats up every body?, let's tear this ****ing place DOWN!' and bam the first song blasts into place. For those who have listened to previouse Strung Out records, will already be knowledged in their crazy guitar riffs and finger-bleeding guitar solos, but to hear them pull it off so succesfully and not have it lost due to bad quality recording will leave you amazed. The live experience is kept flowing throughout the record as in between songs the band engage in a bit of banter with the audience and the fans zealously yell requests back at the band. The impressiveness of this band is also truly presented well throughout the C.D through perfect nailing of techy and complex riffs in a live situation, the fact that they can play melodic poppier tunes without making them sound like some trendy MTV band and the interesting modifications and improvisations that they do to their songs to breathe some new life into older songs.
Overall this is a great C.D fun to listen to if you are into loud, fast, catchy, hard, punky rocky stuff. The musicianship is great (especially for a punk band, brilliant lead and solos, creative riffs and simply breathtaking drumming). The lyrics are good, good intensions and messages (as well as some occasionaly humourouse songs) presented in a mannor which is well written and partially poetic but not too far over the top in the criptic department. The singing is fine, a dramatic voice that ranges from fast yelled bits to slower sung parts to the occasional screamed part, good back up harmonies in certain parts too. So if you are a long time Strung Out fan or a fan of similair bands then this is a great CD worth every dollar paid for it.
I rate this C.D a five out of five as I can listen to it at any time and it has a lot of variety in its songs.
-Bring Out You're Dead
-Bark at the Moon (an Ozzy Osbourne cover, that they nail perfectly only they play it a million times faster)