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Blue Cheer - 'Live At Rockpalast' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/db/a2/b2/blue-cheer-live-at-rockpalast-17-1523561959.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 12, 2018    
 
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This shows they were clearly more than just a loud band.

"We're Blue Cheer, this is what we do" greet the fans on this 2CD/DVD mega album. Blue Cheer have often been thought of as that hugely loud band that might have been the precursors, along with Grand Funk Railroad, of the Heavy Metal sound. Of course, we know what happens to those who are "influential", don't we? The same thing happened to Blue Cheer, an expected brilliance which didn't come and then there are those line-up comings and goings. This reconfiguration, following their 2007 and final album 'What Doesn't Kill You...', keeps it dirty and crowd pleasing.

The sound is gritty with Dickie Peterson gravelling on vocals and destroying on bass, Andrew "Duck" MacDonald stretching out on guitar and Paul Whaley bringing buildings down on the drums. What's often forgotten about Blue Cheer is that they actually have a natural groove, yes, they're a Psychedelic Blues band as advertised, but they also sway and twist; 'Babylon' opens things up with real size, but it has a coolness which only assuredness can bring, it moves through the gears effortlessly and Peterson's bellow is like a wounded buffalo.

Of course, we get the closest to what Blue Cheer have as "hits", a groovy put pushy 'Parchment Farm' with lovely bass-heavy dense middle, 'Rollin' Dem Bones' has the nasty energy of an angry teenager and 'Just A Little Bit' sounds in danger of imploding in a hail of spit and bile.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Their most famous cut is here as well, but first 'Maladjusted Child' fuzzes and fizzes nicely, counterpointed by MacDonald's smooth solo. That well-known cover, 'Summertime Blues', is so rough here that it's almost deconstructed, there's a howl of anger and pain at those Blues, really getting to the ennui which corporate music business strips away. However, Blue Cheer never had that fiscal concern, it could even be said that their stance derailed their commercial prospects, Peterson mentioning both their stance over the Vietnam war and the politically ascendant and their lifestyles as problematic. They certainly seemed to do their own thing, a fine example of this is the unnecessarily lengthy 'Doctor Please' which is only really a souped-up Blues workout whichever way you want slice the twenty-six minutes here, even taking the frenetic guitar solo and well received drum foray into account.

The DVD is very spit and sawdust, the band plugging in and playing, Peterson both laconic and forceful in equal measure, and his stage presence absolutely assured, big enough to allow his compatriots time to enjoy their work, only drawing the eye when necessary; this meat 'n' potatoes equals a feast.

Sadly, Peterson's passing will have put a stop to any further Blue Cheer work, but this shows they were clearly more than just a loud band. They were that, raucous even, but they had class too. Be of good cheer? That's easy with this music.

Steve Swift

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