Rock isn’t dead. W.B. Yeats went on about “The Second Coming” and some “rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem.” What does this literary reference have to do with this album review? It sounds cool. Somewhere in Champaign, a similar rough beast came, not slouching, but swaggering. Even with the volume turned down on the stereo player (as to why anyone would do that with this album is beyond me), the listener knows immediately that this band would 1) be loud and 2) kick ass live.
“State of Affairs” opens with a quiet series of handclaps leading like a fuse to the explosion of guitars and drums, which set the tone for the rest of the album. “Serrated Friend” pulsates and throbs with plenty of percussion to spare. Overall, The Living Blue prove that they don’t lack in fire, blood, or even water in their music, not simply relying on volume but watering things down a bit and not letting things burn out with infectious hooks.