Steve Lieberman – Jewish Riot – Oy! Oy! Oy!! / 2004 Self-Released / 5 Tracks / http://www.gangstarabbi.com / email@example.com / Reviewed 23 February 2005
Hey, its Steve Lieberman, and the first track “Rock Me In The Bombshelter” has the vocal tenor of a Lemmy mixed with a straight-forward guitar line, even if the latter is distorted beyond much in the way of recognizance. What is exciting for me listening to this CD is that Lieberman is not able to make the tracks hopelessly dense and noisy, even with a backing band ey is just one person. The first track even makes for a more solid listening because Steve doesn’t incorporate the atrocious flute at the beginning, and even has the feel of a punk rock treasure, buried behind the fuzzy recording and scuffed vinyl (as so many new discoveries are). The only thing that holds the first track from greater success is the incredibly long duration of the track. What made punk so impressive in its earliest days was its utter disregard for the pomp and egotism of the arena rock that was concurrently popular. Where arena rock was guilty of using extended guitar solos and tremendously long tracks, Lieberman’s own lengthy tracks are even more irritating than those similar in arena rock because so few chords are being used.
However, this live recording does so much in cutting through the bullshit that is usually present on a Lieberman disc, and even if the disc isn’t recorded in the best of circumstances, it shows a more visceral side to Lieberman that eir studio recordings never show. What is depressing about this live EP is the fact that it sounds as if there are literally five people in the venue. Now, while I am not a proponent of going back and fixing out dropped guitar lines or anything like that, maybe Steve could have added a few studio clappers. The third track on the CD is one of the most interesting finds, as it has the most out-of-time congo drummer playing in Jabaia Dragonsun, stifling what could have been one of Lieberman’s solidest tracks.
Lieberman should seriously consider trying to create a more live-feeling studio experience, as this is the essence of eir music, free of all the unnecessary chaos that Lieberman likes to thread throughout eir music. This is not to say that the album is nice and organized, but rather is the musical equivalent of GG Allin’s stage act – Lieberman doesn’t care what you think, and will adorn eirself with shit, piss and cum (noisy guitar solos, haphazardly-arranged drum lines, and eir own vocals) to create what is actually a fairly decent album.
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