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Jamming Like You Know They Can

Built To Spill
(Warner Brothers)

Just when I thought that Built To Spill might get dropped from Warner Brothers for not making the kind of sales that boy bands and other flavors of the moments do, this live album gets dropped and completely proves me wrong. Not only that, but the group goes in a completely strange route in delivering their first non-bootlegged show to CD. Instead of going the safe route and including tons of tracks off their two newest albums, they start out and end the disc with recent tracks, but pack the middle with covers and one older track. It's an interesting move, and making things even more interesting is that track lengths on the disc range from 3 to 20 minutes and the 9 songs included clock out for a total of over 72.

The disc starts out fairly normal, with a by-the-numbers version of "The Plan" off Keep It Like A Secret, before launching into a slightly shorter version of "Randy Described Eternity" and "Stop The Show" from Perfect From Now On. It's from there out, that things change up, though, and the very next track is a stretched-out version of "Virginia Reel Around The Fountain," originally by Doug Martschs' side project The Halo Benders. It's the first track on the disc to get the awesome guitar treatment and it's absolutely awesome.

Those looking for an epic need look no further than the very next track, a cover of Neil Youngs "Cortez The Killer." Like the track before it, the track is turned into an out-of-control beast of a track, except it clocks in at over 20 minutes. Although it works better than can be expected for such a long track, it does drag in a few places and simply feels a bit out-of-place alongside the feel of the other tracks on the disc. Needing to get things moving again, the group wisely goes with the short, quick "Car" from There's Nothing Wrong With Love. The three-minute track is proof that they can not only rip out flailing 7 minute guitar tracks, but catchy pop tracks as well.

After two more tracks, the disc is already closing out on "Broken Chairs" from Keep It Like A Secret, but Martsch again let's the guitars wail for almost 20 minutes again. Depending on your tolerance for extended jam sessions, you'll either be in pain again or loving it. If you've heard Built To Spill before, you know they usually do it well, though, and that's the case here. After lulling off in the middle of the proceedings, it turns into a complete frenzy by the end again. One of the only bad things about listening to the disc is that it makes you wish you were there.

Rating: 7.5