Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Living Colour - "CBGB OMFUG Masters - Live August 19, 2005 - The Bowery Collection" CD

Unjustly overlooked NYC heavy rock act Living Colour are probably seen as being relics of the late 80's, with their riff-heavy radio hit 'Cult Of Personality' being their main claim to fame. But little did I realize that the band has reformed in recent years, and this well-recorded live document proves that the band (fronted by charismatic Corey Glover and anchored by guitar virtuoso Vernon Reid) is as relevant as ever. Combining elements of funk with heavy, almost metallic rock, this band's wise and politically/socially-charged attack shows a much more intelligent and literate angle than their supposed peers in the rock world. But message aside, the band can fire it up musically as well as anyone out there, too. 'Funny Vibe' is a tremendous showcase for Reid's guitar pyrotechnics, and even shows his proven jazz chops. It's wild and ferocious, and certainly lively until the end, which dips slightly into a near-psychedelic freakout mode. Cool stuff. 'In Your Name' flirts with electronica and drum & bass, though don't let that scare you away - this material is still guitar-based, through and through. 'Open Letter To A Landlord' is a muscular jam that has a special pertinence in relation to CBGB's and owner Hilly Kristal, who supported the band way back from the start, and to whom this recording is dedicated. 'Terrorism' is a fittingly strong and amped-up rally cry against, well, our very own (American) regime. 'Glamour Boy' lightens things up a bit, and 'Cult Of Personality' closes it out with flair and fervor. A fine, fine album, with passion and energy to spare. I am impressed! (MVD Audio)

Living Colour website

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