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Exit Stage Right

A live album should make perfect sense...

Exit Stage Right

5 / 10 This should be easy. Because if, as always claimed by wallet chain-sporting kids, you have to see A in the sweaty flesh to understand their appeal, then a live album should make perfect sense.

/img/A0500.jpg Sure enough, these eight tracks have the crazed feeling of the last day of term. Enthusiasm is more visible than songwriting prowess in their big guitars, gruff shouting and unconsummated flirting with skate-punk, metal and hardcore, but it's fun at least half as often as it is exasperating.

It just about succeeds on the narrow terms of live albums, too, capturing the gig spirit so you can practically imagine air-punching kids flinging themselves at the stage and giving the vaguest of inklings as to why they inspire such devotion. Namely, they fill a gaping void for the young, bored and restless that, as the recording credits prove, stretches all the way from Lisbon to LA. This is for them and no-one else, and they know disbelief must be checked at the door or the whole thing will evaporate. Just don't think too deeply. After all, if A don't, neither should anyone else.

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