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Album Review

A live recording of a 1996 performance in Fifteen's hometown of Berkeley, CA, Allegra does a good job of capturing the punk band's stage energy and attitude. After a spoken, not-so-brief breakdown of a few local political issues, Jeff Ott and Fifteen lay into "Run II" and "Chris' Song." These are two of the finest numbers the group ever recorded and a fine way to start any Fifteen performance. Other highlights include "Ain't Life a Drag" and "Food Not Bombs." Every track features a tight performance that is equal or even superior to its respective studio version. This isn't always the case with live punk releases, as the excitement of a performance can be difficult to translate on record. No such problem exists on Allegra, a fine concert disc from one of the Bay Area's best-ever underground acts.


Formed: 1988

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Formed in 1988 after the demise of the Bay Area punk band Crimpshine, from day one Fifteen forged punk-pop songs with strong social messages. Singer/guitarist Jeff Ott's lyrics focus on social justice and issues such as homelessness, drug abuse, environmental destruction, and government strong-arm tactics. Many of the themes that his songs deal with seem to be pulled from his own experience; sexually abused as a child, he left home at 13 and lived the life of a gutter punk on the streets for 11 years....
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Allegra, Fifteen
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