One thing I dislike about most live albums is the horrible sound quality of the recordings. Often I have to crank up the volume on my stereo to even hear the singer belt out my favorite tunes. And I can’t help but tire of listening to the crowd cheer between the songs in the set. This is not the case with Only The Good Die Young. The sound levels are mixed perfectly, almost too perfectly. Each song is edited so one song segues beautifully into another. After a song, the crowd cheers fade out, and the next song starts with the cheers fading in. The vocals are toned down, and the drums and guitar are melted into a pool of polished blandness. Upon listening to this album, I thought immediately that it should be played at a sophisticated, adult contemporary-loving dinner party. You know the kind: attendees dressed in all black selections from the latest season of Calvin Klein. Yes, 45 Grave has mellowed down to a black button-up-shirt, brushed metal belt buckle, fitted trousers and matching, shined dress shoes.
Only The Good Die Young is far too overproduced for a band like 45 Grave. I prefer them to sound dirty and raw, with sweaty armpits, and sweaty brow, cranking out crunchy, short guitar riffs, booming drums and screeching vocals. This type of record is a injustice of the true sound 45 Grave can produce. When given one over-produced sounding recordby one punk/metal band at a live performance, the results are just not that good.
45 Grave is an okay band. Only The Good Die Young, 45 Grave’s new live release, is somewhat less than okay. Even if you are already a fan of 45 Grave, you might not take to this one. Or if you have never heard of 45 Grave before, then this is far from the best way to discover this band. While some bands have made an art out of the live album, others most likely put them out to fulfill contractual obligations. In 45 Grave’s case, it is most definitely the latter of the two.
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