Imperial State Electric – Anywhere Loud
Release date: 16/02/2018
Review by: Alun Jones
Live albums, eh? I’m not a huge fan. A lot of the time they’re just cynical exercises in fleecing fans, getting them to pay again for songs they’ve already got. And usually poorer quality, due to being in a “live” setting.
There are exceptions to the rule, of course. Back in my days with KISS, the boys were struggling to step up to the mega bucks level after their first few albums. I proposed that they record a live album, in order to try and capture their incredible live show. That was what they were good at, see? The studio albums were good, but live – wow, those kids could rock. So eventually the four prima donnas came round to my suggestion, released “KISS – Alive” – and their super star status was assured. Bang! Mega platinum seller, through the roof, KISS had arrived.
Thanks to me.
Which brings me to this live release from Imperial State Electric. Although it’s called “Anywhere Loud”, it could’ve been another KISS live album. It’s big, bold and brash in a very Seventies Rock kinda way. It’s almost like we’ve stepped into a time machine and arrived back in 1976. Not that I’m complaining – these guys are all about fun, over the top rock’n’roll – just how it used to be.
A whopping 23 songs, the album certainly doesn’t scrimp on the tunes. There are plenty of them, and the sound is reassuringly good throughout. Snippets of audience noise and banter, applause and well performed improvisations help keep the energy – and authenticity – pushing the meters to overload.
Outstanding tracks in this collection include the catchy riffs of “Apologize”, “Reptile Brain” and “Uh Huh” – plus there’s a hint of their punkier side with a blinding version of The Dead Boys’ “Sonic Reducer”. If you’re a fan of KISS, Cheap Trick and Blue Oyster Cult then “Anywhere Loud” is for you. If, however, you’re not a worshipper of Seventies Rock like those aforementioned bands, this release probably won’t change your mind.
Which brings me back to KISS. Of course the masks were my idea. Though originally, I’d planned on Peter, the drummer, wearing a samurai style number. So, you’d have had the Star Child, the Demon, the Space Ace and the Samurai. Pretty good, yeah? Except Peter changed his mind last minute and decided to be a cat, for fuck’s sake. And just look how that worked out.
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