Built To Spill
What is there left to say about this band? They've given us some of the finest and most defining West Coast rock in the last few years, and now they give us a live album. To some, this band is one of the greatest, to others... it's a bunch of hype. I fall in between, and so does this album.
Recorded well, and giving us a good selection of songs, including the best of the bunch, "Car," this live version is still a mixed bag. The guitars shine and waver, the drums come through clean and concise, the trademark vocals fly high above it all, but at times there's just too much. It would be different watching the band, but here with just the music, those guitar solos can go on and on a bit long. It has a tendency to showcase a bit of the band's self indulgence, and really, who needs a twenty-minute version of "Cortez the Killer"? It's good, but I rarely make it through before skipping ahead to hear "Car" once again. A brilliant band to be sure, but live, I think they are meant to be seen more than just heard.
Warner Brothers Records, 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505-4694; http://www.wbr.com