Monday, July 25, 2011

High Rise — Live [1994]

I know I've abandoned this thing the past year and I meant to post far before this but my motherboard died while coping with the feedback and balls of this here record.

As a guitarist I see performance in two identifiable present participles: shredding, and blowing. Shredding is well known by any 15 year old with a baby Gibson and a stack of Maiden CDs, but blowing is the improvisational side you don't dig until maybe you've said fuck you to Kerrang magazine and left eleven far behind. Blowing is the forte of Narita-san and this live album showcases the band like...well, like their studio albums do, but somehow this is better; dirtier, even less restrained and even more ear bruising. Like everyone, I started with High Rise II and the Disallow ep, probably their best studio records, but the versions of "Pop Sicle" and "Sadame" here are somehow more mind-blowing, even with every track showcasing a shorter run time than its studio equivalent (check out 4 minute (?!) version of "Mainliner"). The booklet doesn't list any venues or dates, unfortunately, and its hard to tell if any editing has been done (probably only at the ends of tracks, if any) but this is one of my all time favorite live albums as it never wastes a single note and serves as the best introduction of the band you can have. So many godlike guitar solos here but the greatest moment of inspiration comes during "Ikon" where the feedback reaches new heights and Narita seems to be playing through banging his pickups with his fist alone (right around the 4:00 mark), but in a melodic way that perfectly complements Nanjo's throbbing bass, before completely flatlining only to come back even stronger. Have seventeen minute blowouts its awesome, but shortening them sometimes increases the impact of the sheer heat that this brings to your speakers. If you can't handle it, you don't like rock'n'roll.

Genre: Psychedelic/Heavy Metal
Label: P.S.F.
Origin: Japan
Bitrate: 192k