27 Nov 2011

Built To Spill - Live - Obscure Classics ( Review )

Great albums you may have missed

Built To Spill - Live ( 1999 )

The sixties had Live At Leeds by The Who.
The seventies had Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous and Neil Young's Rust Never Sleeps.
I'm not too sure what the eighties has to say for itself.
And I'd like to nominate Built To Spill Live as the great live rock album of the nineties.
Ostensibly an alternative hard rock band pitched somewhere between Dinosaur Jr and Crazy Horse, Built to Spill have been releasing albums since 1993 ( and are still going strong today ) and are the sort of band that release consistently solid studio albums that you can tell aren't quite an accurate representation of their sound.
Culled from 4 separate live dates in 1999, this is a revelation and a definitive statement from a band who are clearly at their most comfortable on stage.
Their three pronged guitar attack have an intuitive understanding of each other and dovetail their guitar parts into some very intricate and beautifully textured places with excellent use of controlled feedback.
They're left plenty of space to stretch out and improvise on a stinging version of Neil Young's Cortez The Killer and their own Broken Chairs both of which find their way to the twenty minute mark without showing signs of lagging.

Car and the Plan offer more concise hooks, along with covers of Love as Laughter's Singing Sores Make Perfect Swords and a version of The Halo Bender's Virginia Reel Around The Fountain which builds to a glorious descending octave riff which threatens to release my inner air-guitarist every time I hear it.
My favourites though are Stop The Show with it's bludgeoning rock star finale and I Would Hurt a Fly - which although quite cryptic appears to be a creepy and insightful look into a troubled relationship with cleverly subversive lyrics.
Essential listening for anyone with a taste for the loud and melodic.

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