I have had this album kicking around since its release date and I have listened to it a few times, but tonight I finally took the time to pop the cd in and actually listen to it. After listening, I figured while I was catching up on last week’s episode of The Walking Dead I would take the time to review the album.
Last year, Polar Bear Club released Clash Battle Guilt Pride and it made many best of lists for 2011, including the top spot in my own. I think I called the album the group’s “coming out party” a sort of “taking it to the next level” if you will. So when I bought the album I thought I was mostly getting live acoustic versions of those songs. I was wrong. Included on the cd version are two cover songs, and the remaining 7 are songs which cover their entire catalog. I am not saying that is a bad thing, I did like Chasing Hamburg, but not nearly as much as the record that followed. So while these songs did not introduce me to anything new, what it did is let me experience and hear the songs in a different way. Songs such as “Light of Local Eyes” or “Burned Out in a Jar” would not have made my favourites list from Chasing Hamburg but hearing them acoustically live gives me a new appreciation of them. The live versions really showcase Jimmy Stadt’s vocals and bring new life to the songs.
My one issue with the collection is that it is only nine songs long, unless of course you received a digital download after buying the vinyl, in which case you got an additional 4 tracks including “Drifting Thing” and “Screams in Caves” which are two of my personal favourites from the band. If it wasn’t for hearing the 4 additional I would have enjoyed Live at the Montage a lot less, but still it is a good live record that paints a new light on some older songs.