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The Live Record

Dance Hall Crashers

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Album Review

It's virtually impossible to believe that DHC have been in existence for 11 years at the date of this album's release, outliving two or three times over virtually all the Two Tone heroes who were such an initial influence on the band. Sure, there's been lineup changes over the years, but not only has the group thrived, they've come back stronger with every shift. What's even more impressive than sheer longevity, is how true they've stayed to their original vision. Musical fads come and go, and many bands transmute over time (just look at No Doubt), but DHC gloriously remain DHC. Even though The Live Album, as the title suggests, is indeed a live album, the 25-song set works equally well as a greatest-hits collection, with tracks drawn almost evenly from their four albums and the Blue Plate Special EP. Over the years, DHC has evolved into a tight, proficient, and professional unit, but never slick, and thus even the oldest songs — "D.H.C.," "My Problem," "Othello," and "He Wants Me Back" — are graced with new life. The horns, rocksteady rhythms, and copycat Two Tone riffs may be gone, replaced with more mature, but equally crowd-pleasing, arrangements. Rockier riffs and guitar leads now rule in place of the brass, but the group's poppy core is still cement solid. Anyone who's ever seen DHC onstage knows how much enthusiasm the band brings with them. And this show at L.A.'s the Troubador was no exception; the sound is superb, and the songs bubble with an effervescent energy. The dueling, duoing vocals of Elyse Rogers and Karina Denike, with their edgy, biting lyrics, are the centerpiece, with the band expertly keeping the house jumping. A great group, an excellent gig, and a fabulous album.

Biography

Formed: 1989

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

An outgrowth of the legendary Operation Ivy, the Berkeley, Caifornia-based ska-punk outfit Dance Hall Crashers was briefly led by Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman, Op Ivy alumni who later reunited in Rancid. Both left within weeks of the Crashers' 1989 formation, but the group continued on, now led by vocalist Elyse Rogers and guitarist Jason Hammon; a series of other lineup changes followed, most notably the addition of second vocalist Karina Denike joining in 1990. Dance Hall Crashers disbanded soon...
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The Live Record, Dance Hall Crashers
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