Rasputina's 5th full-length album is a limited edition of one particular concert recorded live in Pittsburgh in 2004. The 19 tracks cover their whole career although the majority (8 tracks) are from their most recent album, Frustration Plantation. And although one of the cover versions, Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll is available on the Lost and Found EP, there is a great version of Heart's Barracuda that is previously unreleased.
I think hearing Rasputina live brings an added dimension to their music. They sound heavier and fuller. The good thing about the mix on this CD, however, is that Melora's beautiful vocals are never drowned out or overshadowed but instead complemented by Rasputina's unique sound. Another great thing about a live CD is that it finally gives some of us a chance to hear Melora's bizarre and rather surreal onstage comments.
I'll admit at first, I wasn't too happy about the choice of tracks. I thought they'd missed off some of their more popular earlier tracks like Brand New Key and Transylvanian Concubine as well as not including more rarities like their live versions of Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby's Got Back and Twisted Sister's We're Not Gonna Take It. But I can see a certain logic in putting on lesser known album tracks to try and challenge the casual fan and encourage them to check out Rasputina's back catalogue. In the end I accept it's always going to be difficult to please everyone but my opinion is that this album should be viewed as more of a straightforward live album than a greatest hits collection (although it does act as a good basic introduction to the band for those who are unfamiliar with their work). It's a worthy addition to a great body of work by one of the most original bands around at the moment.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2005.