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Rusty Eye – Live At The Joint MMVI (8,5/10) – USA – 2006
by Jonathan “Hell’s Unicorn”
|Playing time: 26:07
Band homepage: Rusty Eye
|Although the changes happening to this band were already in the works with the release of that curious little EP “Cryogenic”, the true Metal nature of this band first manifested itself on this rather interesting live album. It is commonplace for Metal acts of most persuasions to really shine in the live venue as opposed to the studio, but seeing a band morph from a half-Metal, half-Rock act into something as aggressive as this before releasing a full studio album documenting the changeover is not so common. It is, nonetheless, a unique way of introducing the new lineup and sound, which is befitting a band that has the dual disposition of being from Southern California and not being some hipster/Indie Rock outfit.
The sound quality of the recording is relatively polished, though a tiny bit contained in its overall approach. In short, it sounds like it was recorded where it was, in a small venue. Although maybe a little too fast and proficient for a RAMONES comparison, the sub-half hour time duration and the general fastness of the listen definitely has a underlying Punk feel to it, almost akin to what you might get off a Crossover performance by the likes of SUICIDAL TENDENCIES or THE CRO MAGS. This is further underscored by the Thrash-like tendencies of the presentation of each song, despite the riffs and notes being essentially sped up Melodic Metal riffs. Miss Randall’s drum performance and the rough edged vocal presentation also contributes to this, and the result are performances of what would otherwise be Doom Metal songs in “Mr. Cannibal” and “Zombie” actually listening like MOTORHEAD meets NUCLEAR ASSAULT.
In fact, if you were to compare the presentation of these performances to their respective studio album manifestations, you’d almost think you were hearing a different song based on the much faster tempo. Whether it’s just the euphoria of playing to a live crowd or something else, this band successfully pushes the metronome count of each song up a good 20 to 30 clicks. This works very well for songs written specifically for a speedier interpretation like “Birds Of Prey” and “Turn It Up”, but on the slower studio ones they seem a tiny bit rushed, though they are presented with no performance errors to speak of. The highlight performance, surprisingly enough, is the sub-minute, solo guitar work “Don’t Smoke”. It’s essentially like hearing NUCLEAR ASSAULT’s “Hang The Pope”, but with no drums and very little structure to speak of aside from a recurring lyrical phrase mirroring the song’s title.
Few bands succeed in reinventing themselves for the better after already having an established following to speak of, be it large or small, and RUSTY EYE definitely pulled it off here. Between Miss Randall’s aptness at playing fast and aggressive, Mr. Rust’s active bass lines and the overall nonconformist style that result when meshing those 2 elements together with some inventive Metal riffs definitely is deserving of more attention. It is recommended that you check out “Stendhal Syndrome” before this one, but both are worth owning if you like your Metal progressive, rusty, and rockin’.