Sunday, February 18, 2007

Thirdimension: Before the End Begins (Hidden Agenda)
release: February 20, 2007
style: unplugged
similar: Super Furry Animals, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
rating: **

A band really can't go wrong recording live and acoustic in an old church in Sweden. Thirdimension takes selections from its first two neo-psych pop-rock records and minimizes the instrumentation while getting heavy reverb. There are a few covers too, though "We're Not Gonna Take It" is hardly Twisted Sister, as it only borrows the chorus. For "Don't Fear the Reaper," Thirdimension gets the job done even though the song has been exposed enough in recent years. Fortunately, they put a twist on it by making it a medley with the Posies' "Dream All Day." "Sore Lips," and "This Time" are two standout originals due to fullness and harmonies. As much as it's nice to get intimate and focus on the basic structure of the songs, Thirdimension sounds more comfortable when they're plugged IN. -Kenyon

Richard Lloyd: Field Of Fire (double CD re-doing, Reaction/Parasol)
release: February 6, 2007 (originally 1987)
style: rock n roll, bar rock, pop-rock
rating: **

When records of big name artists are remastered, it's usually pointless because we've heard the music before. Then there's people like Richard Lloyd, who few people have heard about and who put out albums before CDs existed. For that reason I can understand why this double CD (one is the remastered--and better--original, the other is a "revisited" version) was issued. What irks me is that the guitarist of early New York punk band Television can't sing all too great, as his voice is pretty throaty (think Bruce Springsteen with a bad cold, although he's closer to Ian McCulloch on the opening track). Some of the melodies do better, notably "Keep on Dancin," "Watch Yourself" and "Black to White." You might then think of him as a working-class American man instead of one of the first punks. Surprisingly, Field of Fire doesn't sound too dated. But even in 1987, there were better things going on. -Kenyon

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