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 Baroness - BBC: Live At Maida Vale 'Studio 4' EP (2013) Review

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Join date : 2012-01-05
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PostBaroness - BBC: Live At Maida Vale 'Studio 4' EP (2013) Review

Baroness - BBC: Live At Maida Vale 'Studio 4' EP (2013)
Relapse Records -- Running Time 19:21

On the 15th August 2012 the tour bus that was transporting Baroness and some crew members crashed terribly on its way to Southampton, UK where they were due to perform. As horrible as the crash was, it was an absolute miracle that no-one was killed that night and even though two band members have since decided to call it a day Baroness have slowly been working their way back to writing and touring again. About four weeks before that crash and not long after arriving in the UK to start touring the band marched into the iconic Maida Vale studios in London to record four tracks and an interview for BBC Radio One and those are the tracks I'm reviewing now.

All four tracks 'Take My Bones Away', 'March To The Seas', 'Cocainium' and 'The Line Between' are taken from the, what was then, recently released 'Yellow & Green' double studio album. This was an album that divided many fans, some feeling that Baroness were becoming a little too commercial and radio friendly. Now I'm not going to suddenly admit that I'm the biggest fan of Baroness, I'm not. Their brand of Sludgy Stoner Alternative Rock/Metal is not one of my favourite genres, but...the quality of the recording and strength of the performance here has gone a long way to changing my perception. Yes there are the Kyuss, Foo Fighters style influences but I can hear a lot of Pink Floyd on 'Live At Maida Vale' as well and it definitely shows a band maturing into something much more formidable!

John Baizley's vocal delivery is very good and his rhythm guitar and Peter Adams' rhythm and lead work is spot on reminding me in places of the Thin Lizzy twin guitar sound. What really stands out for me though is the bass of Matt Maggioni and drums of Allen Blickle (sadly, both have since left the band, but it's totally understandable). Their playing is so tight it holds the whole thing together. You have to remember that this is a live recording and it shows the quality of musicianship in an era when far too many tricks can be used to create perfection! Even though there isn't a huge difference between these and the album versions there is something of a more direct, slightly harder and raw delivery here and it works in the bands favour!

This could have been the last thing the band ever recorded. Although I'm extremely pleased that it will not be, it still stands as a fitting epitaph to the four members who recorded it, showing a band absolutely ready to take it to the next level! As befits this recording it has been released on a number of beautiful 12" vinyl editions, in various colours, (some of which have sold out) so I suggest you get hold of a copy quickly before you miss it. Excellent!

Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley

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