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Pavlov's Dog - Live and Unleashed CD (album) cover


Pavlov's Dog


Crossover Prog

2.48 | 12 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
2 stars I remember being very excited about this release since it marked the first official live document from Pavlov's Dog. The fact that Live And Unleashed is the band's only live album is quite a sad one since Pavlov's Dog was quite an amazing live band back in the '70s. The reason for this statement comes from my experience of the 1976 bootleg recording of the band titled Live In Detroit. Generally I despise anything that looks even remotely like a bootleg but hearing Live In Detroit was a wonderful experience that definitely gave me a craving for more.

Let's be honest from the get-go, Live And Unleashed is far from the great live performance from the band's heydays. The album was recorded in 2009 with only a few of the original members still in the band. Yes, David Surkamp is still present but I'll get to his performance in just a little bit.

First off, let's look at this odd looking set list; not only does the it leave out many of the concert favorites from the past but it also just so happens to dismiss the band's staple song Julia. One might argue that it was a strategic move to ignore the classic in favor of the new material or just that Surkamp's voice isn't able to reach the high notes that he liked to show off back in the day. Still, I just find this to be disrespectful of the band's fan base. Let's assume that it was performed during the encore that wasn't added to the album final live album and leave it at that.

We do get five tracks off the debut album, merely two performances from At The Sound Of The Bell plus a quite a few tracks from the new release Echo & Boo. This mix of styles does become quite confusing over the course of the performance especially when the band doesn't even try to recreate the magic of excellent songs like Late November, sounding here almost like a indie cover. The magic is clearly not there, but the song title I Don't Need Magic Anymore clearly marks where the band stands on this issue!

There is clearly a lot hanging on David Surkamp's performance since, let's face it, Pavlov's Dog is primarily known for Surkamp's love it or hate it vocal approach. It's unfortunate to hear that David Surkamp's high-pitched vibrato is just not there anymore, instead he sound like the aging rocker that he is. It's not really a bad thing, since growing old is unavoidable, but is merely an observation on my part. It's especially saddening to hear favorites like Theme From Subway Sue and Of Once And Future Kings being completely stripped of everything that made them great.

The only glimpse of the old days magic comes halfway through the set list when Pavlov's Dog finally decides to go back to basics and delivers a great live version of Gold Nuggets! It actually made me want to see more tracks off At The Sound Of The Bell on the set list, especially Valkerie and Did You See Him Cry. This is of course only wishful thinking which actually makes Live And Unleashed even more of a forgettable experience than it already is.

***** star songs: Gold Nuggets (4:25)

**** star songs: Preludin (2:05) I Don't Need Magic Anymore (5:04) Theme From Subway Sue (5:57) Episode (4:44) I Love You Still (3:22)

*** star songs: Of Once And Future Kings (6:59) Breaking Ice (4:33) Late November (3:24) Angel's Twilight Jump (7:31) Not By My Side (2:54) Looking For My Shadow (3:26) Wrong (4:30) Standing Here With You (Megan's Song) (5:55) Angeline (4:47)

** star songs: Heat Of Mine (6:23)

Rune2000 | 2/5 |


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