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Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything

Even though pulling off a successful live release is already a rather difficult prospect, Underworld has the added pressure of being a rather non-typical group for doing it. They don't at all have a typical band setup, but it's hardly stopped them on Everything, Everything, a hugely listenable 8 track live release that runs almost 75 minutes and is a very good chronicle of the group live in concert.

One of the things that the group does do well in the live format is setting up the audience. With a normal band, a guitar lick might be extended for a little bit longer just to bait the listener, but Underworld has stretched out most of the tracks on this release, providing some nice moments of tension and release (and you can hear the crowd whoop it up almost every time the beat starts pounding again after a break). In fact, the album runs almost 75 minutes and only contains 8 tracks, so things average out at almost 10 minutes a number without sounding the least bit boring.

The songs themselves showcase nearly all the groups work, from Dubnobasswithmyheadman on up to Beaucoup Fish and everything in between. Things actually start out with a slightly shortened version of "Juanita/Kiteless" from Second Toughest In The Infants before dropping off into the end (and most interesting part) of "Cups" from Beaucoup Fish. From there, the group plows through "Push Upstairs," "Jumbo," and "Shudder/King Of Snake" from the same album, only interupting things once with the older track "Pearl's Girl." It's the inclusion of that stuttering breakbeat track, though, that pumps the middle of the release into a complete frenzy with Hyde's vocal oddities and a huge beat.

The album closes out with two ten minute tracks and it ends up being the best one-two combo on the entire release. "Born Slippy Nuxx" doesn't waste any time in getting started and barrels out of the gate with that _huge_ kick drum beat that everyone knows and loves before Hyde starts spitting out vocals like he's possessed (with the "Lager, lager, lager" chant getting an especially loud workout). The highlight of the entire disc comes at the very close of the album, however, as the older b-side of "Rez" is mixed with "Cowgirl" (from Dubnobasswithmyheadman) for a beautiful track that alternately shimmers and slams.

For those Underworld fans who are even more hardcore, the group has also assembled a DVD of the same name in which you can watch visuals from all kinds of different angles and get an even better perception of what its like to be at one of there shows. As part of the design group Tomato, they definitely don't lack in the occular stimulation department, and combined with the music prove that you can indeed pull off a live techno act with success (and if you don't believe me, just ask any of the screaming audience members). If you just want the audio part of it, though, the Everything, Everything CD will do just fine. I just hope that they truly haven't broken up...

Rating: 7.5