"There's a staggering, slow burning power to everything they do...That's even more apparent live"
- John Mulvey NME
People Like Us Should Be Stopped - Live Volume One
People Like Us Should Be Stopped is not only an incredible live album--taken from shows in Scotland, England and Arizona during 1993, showcasing what this Los Angeles band is capable of onstage--it's also an amazing look into what was happening with the lives of the band (both individual and collective) at that time. As guitarist John Berry puts it in the album's liner notes: "It was a difficult and gloomy time." Half the band was kicking heroin, Berry had his pedal board nipped after the first show, others skipped dinner for six martinis on an empty stomach before playing, someone got into a fistfight with another band for eating his hotdog and would go on to play a show with a broken needle in his arm. Difficult and gloomy indeed! As one would expect after all that, there is some amazing musical tension here, and even though this album was remastered from bootlegged recordings whose original sound quality is suspect, People Like Us... is still an amazing glimpse into the all-consuming despair the band was going through at the time. While the between-song segues provide some of the more interesting musical collages on the album and Jeff Martin's voice stands out a bit naked and coarse compared to the lush textures of the instruments, this is an album that pulses with a dark vibrato and is well worth your time.
It's time to get some sunlight. See the light before I begin to listen, 'cause these guys can bring me down. In the best way, though... music to listen to when you're feeling like a thunderstorm. People Like Us... is a live CD, recorded pretty much straight off the mixing board, except for a couple of songs which were recorded directly from the audience. Most songs seem to be from 1993's Year After Year, at least the ones that I recognize. It's not the best sound, but with the deepness of Jeff Martin's voice and the anguish implied in the guitar work, you can almost feel it becoming more real than something from the recording studio. A beautiful rendition of "God's Green Earth," even though it makes you feel like you are standing at the back of a large room. The liner notes by guitarist John Berry make for some interesting reading, as well.
Trouser Press Reord Guide: "Existential" & "Morose"