The ex-Smith proves his greatness on a spiky live album
Tampering with a winning formula can be tricky....
Undeterred, Cooking Vinyl stepped in to rescue the album from the scrapheap where, perhaps, it should have been left. The Velvet Crush have attempted to spruce themselves up for a cruise down racket road at 180mph, but they've gotten so caught up in the momentum of their journey that they've left the tunes behind. On the occasions when they collide with sprightly hooks, they're well signposted: 'Think It Over' borrows an REM lick, and 'Live For Now' is akin to The Replacements' 'Can't Hardly Wait'. Only done badly.
At times chunky guitar riffs striking out like hammer blows, or lapses into countrified Fanclub-esque delicacy suggest that there might be hope for the 'Crush yet. 'Heavy Changes', however, is the sound of a band grappling for the classic, and grasping only clichi.
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