Live albums seem a lot less prevalent than they used to be. I remember about twenty years ago going into record stores in New York and seeing plenty of places the would carry bootlegs of bands like Nirvana, Primus, Pearl Jam, etc. People used to scour record stores for unreleased material. It doesn’t seem to be as prevalent as it used.
This is the thought that came to me while listening to Live at the Zoo by The Tiny Divides made up of Brock Briggs (bass), Ben Casey (vocals), Cameron Dean (guitar), Zac Lynch-Badley (guitar/vocals) and Nick Stuart (drums).
The band is a bunch of young dudes that sing about young guy shit. Smelling like cigarettes, being hungover, contemplating if you’re wasting your life. The typical garage rock, bohemian spirit that hasn’t diminished since the ’60s is prevalent in their music.
Live at the Zoo does more or less what I believe its intention is which is to give you an idea of what the band sounds like live. They sound like a no frills, garage band. It feels like they are having fun and so is the audience.
They open with “You Smell Like Cigarettes” which should give you a good idea of the band’s general sound. The band plays into garage rock 101 cliches but they own it and I thought Casey had a fitting voice for the music. Casey sings “And anytime that we drink we drink like we wanna die.”
The band plows through an energetic, dynamic set. I enjoyed the brief audience banter as well as the cover of St. Helens. They get heavy with “Is This For Real” while the closer “A Field Full Of Straw Men (Crows)” has some inspired moments.
Live at the Zoo could have used some proper mastering increasing the volume but overall it was an enjoyable recording that gives you an idea of what the band is about. It also preps the band for releasing a proper studio album. Will it happen? I have no idea but make sure to keep an eye on them if you enjoyed Live At the Zoo.
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