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Live: In the Red

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Album Review

Live: In the Red is like a book on Pussy Galore crammed into the size of a short story, as the late noise rockers run through 18 mid-career highlights (circa 1987-1989) in an economical 43-plus minutes. While the performances are energetic and efficient — there's little time wasted on instrumental wankery, on-stage banter, or crowd noise — the recorded versions of most songs still supersede the live renditions here, which aren't significantly distinguishable from each other. So it goes without saying that In The Red (coincidentally enough, or perhaps not so coincidentally enough, released by In the Red Records) is likely to be of greater interest to the completist than to the casual fan. Instead, the latter may want to start with the 1992 compilation Corpse Love or 1989's Dial "M" for Motherfucker, from which most of this material originates. The selections that work best live are those that also worked best in the studio: the garage punk "Understand Me" and Creedence Clearwater on crack "Dick Johnson" (both from Dial "M") and the post-mod "New Breed" (from 1987's Right Now!). Although the set was recorded at CBGB's in 1989, it wasn't actually mixed until 1997 — several years after the group, which consisted of Bob Bert, Neil Hagerty, Jon Spencer, and Kurt Wolf, had disbanded and its members had gone off to form combos of their own. As a whole, the sound quality is good but not great, although far better than 1986's lo-fi cassette release, 1 Yr. Live. The only non-LP track is the opening cut, "Nothing Can Bring Me Down" by the Twilighters. ~ Kathleen C. Fennessy, Rovi


Formed: 1985 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Pussy Galore didn't invent noise rock, but they did change the way many musicians approached the notion of transforming chaotic noise into music. Early on, most bands that embraced noise as an aesthetic either had an arty world-view, a philosophical axe to grind, or some combination of the two. Pussy Galore, on the other hand, simply embraced godawful racket for the hell of it, laying out willfully primitive and technically ragged music drawn from '60s garage punk, gutbucket blues, and several generations...
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Live: In the Red, Pussy Galore
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