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New Red Archives

Kraut "Live At CBGB's" CD

Kraut "Live At CBGB's" CD

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Although Kraut pretty much ruled the New York hardcore scene during their '80s heyday (to be honest, this was a much smaller scene than southern California's comparatively huge community of bands and fans, and in the long run, it's less historically important than the small but crucial set of bands centered around Washington, D.C.), in retrospect, their music is fairly uninspired, especially after guitarist Doug Holland left following their second album. Surprisingly, however, the 2002 reunion gigs captured on Live at CBGB's (by the original lineup, including Holland) are solid, no-pretense '80s-style hardcore, and sound even better than the tracks on the last New Red Archives Kraut live release, 1989's Night of Rage. The tempos are a hair slower, which actually adds to the songs' effectiveness, as it gives Holland more room. Although hardcore has never been the most solo-friendly style of music, Holland's brief, economical solos are unfailingly perfect for the songs. Unfortunately, Kraut's eternal weakness, Davy Gunner's non-descript voice and weak lyrics, are still readily apparent. As a nice touch, however, the set closes with a fun version of the Sex Pistols' "Bodies," the band's favorite cover from the old days, which they used to occasionally perform with ex-Pistol Steve Jones.
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