The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

NELSON
PERFECT STORM

 

 

If you can get over the screams of teenage girls that appear quite high in the mix and just concentrate on the songs, you know what this ain’t bad at all. Not an all-time classic of a ‘Live’ album, but a bloody good record of a great band at their popular peak.

 

It’s always been a shame that there are no full Nelson concerts out there that were professionally recorded and so this, 20 years on, is the best we have as a document of what must have been a stunning show. I caught Nelson a couple of years ago at Rocklahoma and they sounded great so you can imagine what the guys were like at their peak. To be honest this isn’t the best recorded ‘Live’ show you will hear this year but it isn’t that badly done either, I got the feeling that the screaming girls came up in the mix where maybe there were a few minor flaws!

 

The show itself though just shows you what a wealth of great material that first album held, this feels like a greatest hits set by a long-established band, it’s dripping with hooks and harmonies are just falling out all over the place!

 

By the time we get ‘Love and Affection’ we are reminded that this was a band who was number one across America, and the songs from that ‘After the Rain’ album are flawless but for me it’s the inclusion of the pre-Nelson ‘Power Tool’ track ‘Two Heads are Better Than One’ with it’s raunchier sounds and intended double-entendre that’s my highlight.

 

Live here, Nelson is very much an embodiment of their clean-cut mage and pitched at that youthful audience. There’s no ‘Mother-fuckers’ in Nelson land 1991, instead we get the first and I think only ever live reference to an audience as a bunch of ‘Mother Scratchers’ during opener ‘Fill You Up’, that to me is priceless in itself!

 

Music-wise it’s a tight ship with great performances all round, there’s even one of the least boring drum solos I have ever heard, some lavish keys, and of course the perfect harmonies we would expect. Elsewhere Australian Guitarist Brett Garsed manages to get an AC/DC reference in his guitar solo ‘Uluru’ that also samples Living Color’s ‘Cult of Personality’ and whilst the AC/DC reference doesn’t date it, the Living Color and Eddie Van Halen-like dabbling does. Great solo though, that makes you wonder what he’s been up to recently, the last I heard of him was as part of John Farnham’s ‘Last Time’ tour.

 

‘Keep One Heart’ the sole studio bonus track here is an odd inclusion, I seem to remember it being one of two bonus tracks on Japanese releases of ‘After the Rain’ along with another great song called ‘Too Many Dreams’. It’s a worthy inclusion but I would have loved to have found both here, maybe that’s just greed!

 

Don’t get me wrong I’m a big Nelson fan, never been ashamed to admit it, but of their three recent/impending releases this would be the one I would buy last.

 

I’d would buy them all of course…

 

 

Mark