Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Braid ‎– Lucky To Be Alive (2000)

Two steps behind anything of significance, Braid must've built up enough frustration to convince themselves that they could only be understood in a live environment, which would explain 2000's Lucky to Be Alive, Braid's fourth release and first live LP. Here the band had an unquestionable live desperation that translated well onto disc and they were a confident unit when hammering their style down to its basics, but the squall-heavy guitars and insecure percussion kept the band from exploring anything markedly better than their studio work. Without necessary variety, Lucky to Be Alive was one long extended note, old and new songs too difficult to differentiate, and again the band could only occasionally sound like Dressy Bessy, Rage Against the Machine, Placebo, and Spoon instead of one brilliant amalgamation of them.
Dean Carlson

Braid is a name I've constantly heard for the last 6 months. I had never heard even one song, but everyone says "Hey Mercedes sucks, bring back Braid", or something of that nature. So, on a random, drunken purchase, I now own this live album.

The first thing I noticed about this band was the unique drumming. He definitely holds the band together when they attempt stop-on-a-dime changes. Braid isn't even all that fast either. He's defintely got a style of his own, with very difficult tempos and beats, and intricate cybol use. Another part I liked was the band's ability to completey change a song several times throught a track. Unpredictable to say the least. The guitars are rarely playing the same thing, which gives them a fuller sound than most bands. Each guitarist knows exactly what to match with his counterpart, never falling into a 'normal' riff or rythmn.

The lead singer. It sounds like he is trying too hard to sing out of his range, and his voice does nothing for me. Also, the unpredictable part of Braid that is cool at first quickly gets predictable, if that's possible. They change so often, that it almost becomes expected in every song, and soon loses it's luster. The worst part of this album is the crowd. They sound like there at a tennis match at Wimbledon. They just clap like mothers at a piano recital, and every-so-often you'll hear somone yell 'woohoo'. I've never been to Chicago's Metro, but it sounds lame.

I thought I was getting something spectacular when I bought a Braid cd. I probably should have started with an actuall studio album, to get a better appreciation for the songs themselves. The live album was more likely released for the rabid Braid fans, and not for the first time listener. I will say that this album introduced me to what real 'Emo" sounds like. Fugazi,to me, has always been a punk band, and the Get Up Kids suck. 'Lucky to be Alive' has its high points and its low points, leaving the listener feeling no better, or no worse than when he first presses play.
After more than 500 shows across 47 states and 18 countries in just under 6 years, Lucky To Be Alive caputres Braid's final concert before the band decided to disband in 1999.
Recorded live at The Metro in Chicago, IL on August 21, 1999, Lucky To Be Alive features songs from all three Braid full-lengths (Frankie Welfare Boy Age Five, The Age of Octeen and Frame and Canvas), as well as the band's last recorded song, "You're Lucky to be Alive."
A must-have for any Braid fan.

No comments:

Post a Comment