Live Volume 1
- reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2002 1 Mar
The Supertones strike back yet again! It seems like nothing has been able to keep the O.C. Supertones down since their self-titled disc helped kick off the ska craze more than a half decade ago. They've built up quite a hefty national following outside of Orange County, California (their home turf and the inspiration for the initials in their name), and helped bring the genre to the forefront of both Christian and mainstream music. Together with groups such as Five Iron Frenzy and the Insyderz, the Supertones toured on a major level, often selling out big college gymnasiums and clubs. Their self-titled debut exploded with a raw yet defined attitude, while their follow-up, Supertones Strike Back, allowed them to reach the musical heights of comparable mainstream acts Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake. Even though ska was fading at the turn of the century, the group still sought to
The Supertones's most recent studio album,
The band kicks off the generous 75-minute party with the straight-out ska fever of "Unite" followed by the "guaranteed to make you skank" (the dance associated with the ska movement) appeal of "Unknown." Soon after, they trade off between recent cuts and catalogue favorites. The fluid transitions show the group's improvement over the years. The slicing intensity of "Jury Duty" (from
However, on cuts such as "Away From You" and worship classics "Holiness" and "Open the Eyes of My Heart" the live album doesn't do the band's stage presence justice. As has been the case of many live projects released over the years by artists in all genres, merely listening to a concert without actually being there can diminish some of the power of the performance and the recording. Elements such as a captivated audience singing along to the songs listed above while bowing down in contemplative corporate worship can never be reproduced to their fullest on a recording.
On the flip side, other moments on this project make it a great keepsake for fans who may have attended one of the concerts, and the album will bring up to date fans who may have missed recent Supertones performances. Either way,