King's X: Live All Over The Place - Metal Blade Records - 2004
Disc 1: Groove Machine Dogman Believe Little Bit Of Soul Complain Over My Head Manic Depression Black Like Sunday Finished Screamer Johnny
Disc 2: The Difference (Acoustic) (Thinking And Wondering) What I'M Gonna Do (Acoustic) Mr. Evil (Acoustic) Mississippi Moon (Acoustic) Goldilox (Acoustic) Everybody Know A Little Bit (Acoustic) A Box (Acoustic) Talk To You Visions Cigarettes Summerland We Were Born To Be Loved Moan Jam Over My Head
They may not be a household name, but when it comes to crowd-pleasing, King's X have one helluva track record. Right from the start, critics sang the praises of the band's uplifting and utterly unique musical brew, and a small but rabid following was the result. That following grew little by little, as legions of satisfied customers brought in new converts. World domination may not have been quite within reach, but King's X had developed quite a reputation for delivering the proverbial goods. The one thing their fans lacked was a live album- a document of their live prowess for all to marvel at.
Well, perhaps having heard comments floating around about the curious lack of live material in their catalogue, King's X oblige the fans like a psychic Santa once again. Okay, so now that the long-awaited live album is finally here, how does it measure up? Well, having caught the band on tour (sandwiched between the more traditional metal fare of Dio and HammerFall), I can say with some authority that "Live All Over The Place" is a fairly accurate depiction of a King's X show today. The liner notes reveal that the album was recorded from the sound board, over the course of several tours, by one Jay Phebus. And I really gotta hand it to the guy: Crank it up, in fact, and you begin to feel like you're in the front row. An extensive full-color booklet, crammed with live shots, reinforces the "I was there" factor, making this a great tour souvenir for those who were there, and a good primer for those who weren't.
With twenty five tracks over two discs, there's plenty to digest here, which is both a blessing and a curse; blissful for the diehard, but a bit overwhelming for the casual fan. At the front end of disc two is an "acoustic" set, but in the loosest sense of the term, since bassist/ vocalist extraordinaire Doug Pinnick appears to have remained plugged in for the duration of this nifty, but perhaps mislabeled event. Ty Tabor's guitar, meanwhile, sounds clean and jangly on these tracks, but by no means acoustic. But like the rest of the album, its all fun, energetic, uplifting and endearingly quirky, so what the heck. Further praise must go to Pinnick, Tabor and drummer Jerry Gaskill for their trademark vocal harmonies, which manage to remain dead-on most of the time, despite the absence (I think) of studio gadgets to polish them up. Guitar tone is a bit muddy in some places, but when you tune down (as these guys were doing before it became cool), I guess that is bound to happen a bit. Anyway, rejoice, King's X fans, for the long-awaited double-live extravaganza is at hand. And its good.
Note: Check out Doug's groovy and totally appropriate social commentary during "Believe". Something tells me he must have recently seen Michael Moore's "Bowling For Columbine".
About this Writer: Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.
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