Monday, 18th June 2018. 2:02:29am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Rasputina- A Radical Recital


Artist: Rasputina
CD Title: A Radical Recital
Label: Filthy Bonnet Co.
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 1/13/06

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The two pitfalls of making a live album are poor production quality and its opposite: songs that have no appreciable difference from their studio equivalents. Rasputina’s first live album adroitly dodges both. The recording quality is exquisite, and songs like “Signs of the Zodiac” and the heartbreaking “A Quitter” sound at least as good as their original versions. That’s where the similarities end, though; this doesn’t sound at all like a generic greatest hits collection with applause sampled in at appropriate moments. The cello rock trio plays fast and loose with arrangements. “Rats,” for example, has never sounded so head-banging, and “Things I’m Going To Do” brings drummer Johnathan TeBeest’s ability to the forefront with some extraordinarily tightly played loud and soft dynamics. The live setting also gives Zoe Keating a chance to let her voice shine; in contrast to lead cellist and singer Melora Creager’s wavering falsetto, Keating’s voice is almost mannish, but it’s a perfect effect for the band’s more cow-punk offerings like “Wicked Dickie” and “When I Was A Young Girl.” This is also the first commercially-available recording of Rasputina’s cover of “Barracuda,” originally by Heart, which has become a live favorite for both the fans and the band; after finishing the song, Creager asks rhetorically, “What is it about that song that makes it so fun to play and so fun to hear?” Creager talks to the audience a great deal, in fact, and her between-song banter really cements the album’s live feel, especially for fans who’ve seen the band in concert and experienced her “strange and amazing comments” first-hand. “Howard Hughes,” for example, is preceded by ruminations about Adolf Hitler’s rumored missing testicle, while Creager introduces “Rose K.” as “our incontinence song.” The only downside to this disc is that undoubtedly fans will complain that their favorite songs aren’t on it – “The New Zero” is noticeably absent, as is “Transylvanian Concubine” – but there’s no doubt that this performance is indeed “A Radical Recital.”

Visit Melora and company online at www.rasputina.com, or better yet, go to one of their shows and see what all the fuss is about.


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