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Brand X - Livestock CD (album) cover

LIVESTOCK

Brand X

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.77 | 85 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars My favourite BRAND X album right here. I understand this was released between their first two studio albums making these first three recordings essential in my opinion. This is not a live album from one concert as we get Phil Collins playing drums on 3 tracks while Kenwood Dennard plays on the other 3 songs. It sure feels like one show though as the style of music is fairly consistent other than the fiery closer "Malaga Virgen" from "Moroccan Roll". The other strange thing is that besides the song I just mentioned we get "Euthenasia Waltz" from "Unorthodox Behaviour" while all the other songs are not on any of their studio albums. So 4 completely new tracks and all of these songs are flat out amazing to my ears. This is MY kind of music as we get a lot of intricate sounds coming and going and they don't seem to be in a rush for the most part, and of course all of these guys are gun slingers. John Goodsall, Phil Collins, Kenwood Dennard, Percy Jones, Robin Lumley and Morris Pert.

"Nightmare Patrol" is laid back to start then we get a calm a minute in before kicking in to a more powerful sound with guitar, drums and bass. I love how upfront the bass is throughout this album. It settles into a jazzy groove with piano helping out before settling back again before 3 minutes with some atmosphere. It's building then it settles back again like before. Some nice drum work a minute later then the guitar leads the way after 5 1/2 minutes for over a minute. Nice. Great restrained ending as well.

"-Ish" has an excellent bass intro as intricate sounds start to come and go. I really like this style , so much going on but it's restrained. I also like the keys over top around 4 minutes in then the guitar that follows but man it's all good. "Euthanasia" might be my favourite on here. A quiet start with intricate sounds before they all join in. It's still fairly relaxed until the tempo picks up before 1 1/2 minutes. Nice. It settles back again and this is so good. Love that guitar before 3 minutes then it settles back again before 5 minutes.

"Isis Morning(Part One)" sounds incredible with the space they allow, room to breathe as it were. A spacey atmosphere joins in as intricate sounds come and go. Percussion is fairly steady though. I like that bass as well. "Isis Morning(Part Two)" has more depth to it I believe, more serious sounding. The guitar, bass and keys take turns soloing over top. Incredible!

"Malaga Virgen" is where the band puts their skills on display as we get tons of energy. I'm such a fan of that electric piano early on then it settles back after 2 minutes briefly kicking back in as the bass solos over top. Soon it's the synths and guitar leading the way 3 1/2 minutes in. So much energy. A calm before 4 1/2 minutes causes the crowd to roar and cheer but this isn't over as we get some atmosphere and guitar and it's building. So good. Intricate sounds follow along with some excellent bass as per usual. It kicks back in late. On fire!

This has been nothing but a pleasure. Sure many fans were disappointed that a live album would only include two songs off of their studio albums and Phil isn't drumming throughout. But it's the amazing music here that blows me away regardless of the complaints. I have no such qualms obviously.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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