Live Noise Review

Live Noise

Reviewed by: Jason Hare

Title: Another Live Noise Review (and NYC in-store)
Author: Jason A Hare
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 17:21:41 -0400

Hi everyone,

This is yet another Jason, jumping in from behind the shadows in which I lurk to post a little bit.

I thought I would start off by quickly giving my opinions on the NYC Sam Goody in-store. This was my 8th time seeing the band, and it was still so wonderful to see them enter and hear the crowd go wild. I'm usually up in Buffalo, but I happened to be in NYC for a week or so, and it's great to hear that even NYC crowds like Fruvous!

It was really really hot up in this room above the main level of Sam Goody's, and at first I didn't think the guys were in a good mood. Jian looked a little distracted in the first half of the set but they all seemed to enjoy it more as they continued. The heat was probably really getting to everybody, I think....

I haven't seen them since December at Styleen's when they weren't plugging anything new, so it's been a while since I've heard them open with "Peace of Mind/Buy Our Disk." It's the first thing I ever heard them do live, so it was great to hear that again. The whole set was really wonderful and Mike managed to grab me by the shirt during Spiderman, catching me REALLY off-guard!

But I really meant to write in to the group about Live Noise; while I have only had the album for a short period of time (as we all have), it's a bit easier to review since I know all the songs. I definitely won't steal the thunder from Gordon's excellent and accurate review, but I will give a few thoughts on each song if anybody wants to hear them.

A few general thoughts- the overall sound of this disc is AMAZING. I've heard a bunch of live albums which really don't make me feel as if I was THERE. I wind up feeling very detached and don't listen to the album very often. Barenaked Ladies' "Rock Spectacle" is a good example of this, or any live album by the Who or the Stones.

However, "Live Noise" puts me right in the front of the band, with all the fans around me, bopping up and down to excellent music. Another added bonus is that I was at the October 3rd Buffalo show, so maybe that helps...

The only real criticism I have about the disc in general is that the harmonies, while excellent, aren't always even because one of the guys' mikes is louder than the rest because sometimes there's one specific lead singer. For example, Mike sounds louder when he sings harmony on certain songs like "Michigan Militia" because, well, he's singing lead. But overall, it all sounds great.

Michigan Militia- Great opening! I was a bit worried because the opening banjo sounds a bit muffled, but once the rest of the band kicks in, it sounds great! If you had never gone to a Fruvous concert, you would never know that Mike does both the verses AND the megaphone part. He sounds excellent singing lead both here and on...

Jockey Full Of Bourbon- I am SO thrilled that this is on the album, because I've only heard them do it once or twice, and it's such a ROCKER!

Intra-Pennsylvania Rivalry- very cute, typical bashing of the audience. I'm really upset that "Thank you benevolent Americans" didn't make it on here :-)

Horseshoes- I sort of agree with Gordon here- this, along with Fly, kind of mellows the album out a bit- HOWEVER, this version of Horseshoes is one of the best I've ever heard, and really does improve on the original. The electric guitar sounds very clear and doesn't overpower the entire feeling of the song.

Good Date Band- I love Mike with his French bit.

Fly- I've grown a bit tired of this song, but the harmonies sound great as does the combination of guitar and harmonica.

Boo Time: I like that you can hear the audience absolutely hysterical over Mike's antics. While this song is fun in concert, I don't really care for it on the disc.

King of Spain- Hmm. I think I may have heard better versions, but then again, I'm not the kind of person who goes to see Fruvous because "they're that band that does King of Spain," so it really doesn't bother me. Still sounds good.

Lowest Highest Point- Congratulations, Jason! I'd love it if you would post the story of how this came to be on the album. The song is pretty silly, but every time Mike says "no fucking mountains" I crack up.

B.J. Don't Cry- this is one of those songs that I never really got into until after I heard it live. After the first concert I saw, I really wanted to have this on a tape or disc. And now I do.

Johnny Saucep'n- Obviously essential!

Nature sounds- cute bit.

I've Gotta Get A Message To You- for me, the BEST SONG ON THE DISC. I thought the version on YWGTTM was extremely forgettable and lame, and the live interpretation (with instruments) didn't appeal to me either. The minute I heard it acappella, i fell in love with it. And this version is AMAZING, PERFECT.

My Baby...- I haven't really listened to it more than once or twice, but sounds great.


No No Raja- another song I never really liked too much. I would have rather heard "Your New Boyfriend" if I were to pick a song from YWGTTM. I'm actually also pretty happy Sahara didn't make it on here...

Video Bargainville- once again, another song I didn't enjoy until I heard it live. Sounds great on here.

Kasparov vs. Deep Blue- very funny and oh, so representative of what we love about Fruvous concerts. The little dialogues and the members of the band mocking each other.

Psycho Killer- I remember when they were playing this in Ithaca, only learning it at that really sounds great on here, although I would have killed for one of their Stevie Wonder covers or maybe the Lovefool/Billy Jean cover (I know they probably couldn't have gotten the rights, but oh well...)

Losers- huh?

King of Spain (Cranky Monarch Version)- I'm still gonna call it Grunge of Spain, 'cause...well, 'cause I want to. I remember it being louder when I was in front of the speaker, but what can you do :-) Still, sounds wonderful and I think it shows another side of the band.

The Drinking Song- Of course this ends the disc. And it's absolutely wonderful to have. Thanks guys, for allowing us to sing and remind you how much we love your music.

So that's it. My review. Overall, I absolutely love the album and it'll be in my player for quite a long time. The only thing that makes me upset about the disc is that it DOESN'T have a beautiful version of "Fell In Love" on it....but oh well!

I welcome all comments before I step back into lurk-dom. I see you guys at all the shows and smile because I know that you derive as much fun from these guys as I do.

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