Skeleton Key ‎– Skeleton Key Live At Metro 06/13/2004

4 out of 5

Label: Re:Live

Produced by: (recorded live)

You are damn right I’m bias. Skeleton Key is one of the few acts I’ve willfully seen live – my curmudgeonly habits have never had me as much of a live show addict – and I’ve enjoyed them all of those several times, so setting aside that this definitely isn’t the best recording, with sound clipping happening sometimes (though rarely) and a general low volume (though fixable by… turning up the volume), this… is kinda what Skeleton Key sounds like live, and as it brings one of the best traits of that with it – their quirk, and their energy – I’m down. What seems like a very low-end heavy presentation is, again, true to their shows: their junk percussion has admittedly been sharpened and cleaned up on albums; live it’s more spectacle than nuance, and you get the highlights of rattling and clanking that you need to set it apart from a regular drumset. Otherwise, things are actually pretty clear through and through, with Sanko’s yearning vocals centered over the discernible pummeling of guitar, bass, and percussion, and additional accompaniment peeking through as it appears. The group’s sets are generally a little rough around the edges, and that’s here as well – so when equipment buzzes or the sounds hits max levels, it sort of goes along with that vibe. Plus: this is a pretty great set, hitting all of their album releases (…including from Gravity is the Enemy, years before that was released…?), plus what I’m pretty sure is an unreleased track – Smile.

For fans only? Well, yeah, but let’s say I had been wowed at my first Skeleton Key show and they were offering these recordings afterwards… with the live experience in tow, _Metro_ is a reliable way to get wowed over and again.