Aztec Camera – Backwards and Forwards

5 out of 5

Produced by: Aztec Camera

Label: Sire

I guess we could fault it for not having any original material…?  For having live cuts?  Ha, nah.

Y’see, first off, points for the title track not being the album version of the track (from Knife).  Secondly, Roddy Frame is amazing live, supporting my maxim of live recordings only being relevant if they offer a separate experience from a studio production, and with Aztec Camera / Frame, while the glossy pop of the album versions of some of the songs on Backwards and Forwards are delightful, hearing the exuberance of their acoustic, live renderings is incredibly rewarding.  When it’s rather album-accurate – e.g. Boy Wonders – it’s just a hoot to hear such a complex track kicked off live, and all of this provided to our ear holes with crisp, clear production.

Plus: That excellent, quaint folk-ized Van Halen Jump cover B-side finds a home, nestled between like-minded cuts.

A totally worth it EP, especially when bundled with the also excellent Knife…