Artist/ Band: Spock's Beard
Title: Gluttons For Punishment
Label: Inside Out Music
Year of Release: 2005
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

The Review:

They say a live album happens at a pinnacle moment in a bandís history. And with Gluttons For Punishment, that statement is so true. Itís quite obvious Spockís beard is at home in a live setting. This live document was recorded on the Octane tour, and mostly features songs from their last two studio releases, with the main focus on Octane. Donít despair, some older Spockís Beard peieces are covered such as Harmís Way, At The End of the Day and The Light. Nickís performs the vocals on these classics with such grace. The best of those are on At The End of the Day where the band does an energetic rocking that, in my opinion, blows away the original.

Disc One starts off with7 part, A Flash Before My Eyes epic in its entirety and in a way this version even surpasses the original. Then the band goes into a rendition of a song from The Kindness of Strangers called "Harm's Way". To me the highlight on the first disc is "NWC". The band really out does themselves here by using the original as a framework and goes into an almost improv and doubles the length of the original to almost 10 minutes. This song showcases the bandís true musical talent.

Disc Two has some of the older tunes and the highlight for me is the fantastic version of At The End of The Day. Itís heavy parts are even heavier and more in your face. The second disc ends with a really good version of The Light from their debut album of the same name. I seem to remember critics and some fans saying Nick was doing a Neal sound-a-like on some studio songs on Feeling Euphoria and Octane but when it comes to the classic Beard tunes, he is 100% Nick!

This is one of the more enjoyable live albums Iíve had the pleasure of hearing. This is a nice introduction to Spockís Beard MKII as well as for longtime fans that stuck with the band even when Neal Morse left the band. This is worthy of your CD collection and lets hope thereís a dvd of this show on the way.

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on November 8th, 2005

Tracks:

Disc One
1. Intro
2. The Ballet of the Impact
3. I Wouldn't let It Go
4. Surfing Down The Avalanche
5. She Is Everything
6. Climbing Up The Hill
7. Letting Go
8. Of The Beauty Of It All
9. Harm's Way
10. NWC

Disc Two
1. At The End of the Day
2. The Bottom Line
3. Ryo's Solo
4. Ghosts of Autumn
5. As Long As We Ride
6. The Light

Reviewed Discography

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