NICHOLAS I KEISER | Chicago, IL United States | 12/28/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Y'know how good, raw, and live rock records are hard to come by? Look no further! Great performance, great historical value, great cover photo by Michael Lavine and design by Art Chantry...what more could you want? Okay, maybe better sound quality. For an official live record recorded in the late eighties and released in the mid-nineties, this *could* be a bit better. I mean, gain, Pussy Galore was never a band that was known for sounding especially hi-fi, and of course there's no bass player, but hey, you just can't make out Bob Bert's great drumming all the time, and that's a ... shame, because as you may know from the later studio recordings, it's interesting stuff to hear. Why? Oh, let's see...found objects in his kit, I'd say! A gas tank, a shock absorber spring, a custom-made metal snare...you get the idea. Since the guitars take up so much of the upper frequencies, you can't hear all the great, piercing bashes and clanks that punctuate Bert's work in PG.But, that aside...this is a ... album. They start off with a RIPPING, INSANE cover of The Twilighter's "Nothing Can Bring Me Down". Never heard of it? Look around for an .mp3, it's pretty good in its own right. But this is a deadly arrangement...most especially the ascending/descending riff in the chorus. You'll know what I mean when you hear it. From there, it's largely a retrospective of PG's best. A lot of songs which were laughable scuzz-fuzz tracks in the studio are raw and hard hitting here..."Kill Yourself" and "Alright" couldn't be better. "Sweet Little Hi-Fi" and "Dick Johnson", while both great in the studio takes, are still great here but in a different way...in fact, that's how a lot of this breaks down. It's their *last* show, so it only makes sense that a song like "Kicked Out", originally preceded with a long intro, is a basic rock and roll song, but WHAT a rock and roll song! Same for "Understand Me", which has a quicker tempo and is all the more brutal for it. See, what's happened by this point is that Jon Spencer's learned how to sing, Neil Hagerty AND Kurt Wolfe are dividing up the guitar duties (with Spencer occasionally punctating things), and Bob Bert...well, he just ... like he always does. The ... has been cut through and it's nothing but insane, crazy, too loud rock and roll. If there's one rock live album you GOTTA have, it's Metallic KO by the Stooges, but if there's another one, get this. ... it even ends with Hagerty smashing his guitar, and let me just say, what a wonderfully disgusting sound it is. Get it!"