Tim Armstrong / Jesse Michaels - Living in a Dangerous Land [single] (Cover Artwork)

Tim Armstrong / Jesse Michaels

Tim Armstrong / Jesse Michaels: Living in a Dangerous Land [single]Living in a Dangerous Land [single] (2013)
Hellcat Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: JohnGentileJohnGentile
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"Living in a Dangerous Land" – the first studio collaboration between Tim Armstrong and Jesse Michaels since Operation Ivy – comes as a bit of a surprise, but its actual makeup isn't surprising in the least. Of course the song rocks. Rooted in the modern "Tim Timebomb" ska style used .

"Living in a Dangerous Land" – the first studio collaboration between Tim Armstrong and Jesse Michaels since Operation Ivy – comes as a bit of a surprise, but its actual makeup isn't surprising in the least.

Of course the song rocks. Rooted in the modern "Tim Timebomb" ska style used so prominently on Jimmy Cliff's Rebirth, the song chugs along with energy, but not the reckless abandon of days past. The Bivona gang do an admirable job with the songs rhythm, giving it a mature sound benefitting Armstrong's gruff voice. But unlike some of the older Tim Timebomb songs, these beats never threaten to fly off the tracks, making them enjoyable, but not thrilling. To his credit, Armstrong sounds better than he has in a few years, and delivers an excited performance that sometimes approaches the style he used on ...And Out Come The Wolves. Still, it's clear that Armstrong is now a punk veteran and seems quite comfortable playing the part of a punk rock Odin. It works.

By contrast, while Armstrong has become more contemplative in his vocal delivery, Michaels is as explosive as ever. Not only does his voice retain its youthful spark, but something about his slightly scratched intonation gives his voice an entirely inimitable delivery.

The way Michaels's voice seems to be stacked on top of Armstrong's lower register works to highlight their differences – perhaps too much. The track is a fun get together and all participants seem to be having a good time, but it doesn't seem to have the binding magic of Operation Ivy. Really, it seems more like two friends that haven't seen each other in a long time meeting up and realizing that while they are still fond of each other, they just don't have a lot in common. It also shows that there really isn't a use for an Operation Ivy reunion, because each person is so different now then before.

The track works as a fun one-off. It's a snapper, for sure. But it also highlights that Armstrong is comfortable in his statesman position, while Michaels seems as agitated and wiry as ever. While they might have once shared a similar headspace, they seem to be entirely different artists at this point. In a way, the piece is interesting because it works to show how much each artist has progressed and the entirely different paths they've taken. This is fun, but how about some more Classics of Love, yes?


People who liked this also liked:
Classics of Love - Classics of LoveMorning Glory - Poets Were My HeroesThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsOperation Ivy - Operation IvyThe Flatliners - Dead LanguageGreen Day - ¡Uno!Off with Their Heads - In DesolationOff With Their Heads - HomeThe Dwarves - The Dwarves Are Born AgainThe Loved Ones - Build & Burn

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
wayne7001 (July 29, 2013)

This sounds like it could be a modern Op Ivy track if Jesse Michaels sang more. Awesome stuff either way. The nostalgia fairy has come, and is about to come again in my ear pussy.

POwderDaze (July 18, 2013)

its so. so. so. good.

idrum2 (July 18, 2013)

This is amazing. Classics of Love/Rancid tour?

wallofyouth (July 16, 2013)

@ tom sawyer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGjXYvZR_wA

... and lots of let's go! thanks for indirectly reminding me to go give that record a listen

madapril (July 16, 2013)

Great song! Actually reminds me of early Dance Hall Crashers a la "Time to Ease Up" etc. DHC had a more scruffy 2 tone sound in their early days. Awesome to hear Tim and Jesse together again.

tomsawyer (July 15, 2013)

I have to agree with you John. This track is kind of fun but mostly for nostalgia's stake. I think that there's some sort of tension with Tim not fully knowing how to share lead vocal duties on one song, most of the Rancid tracks tend to feature either him OR Lars, it's pretty rare (at least to my memory) that they share lead vocals on any one song. So it seems to me that there's some question throughout the track as to who it's really featuring. Jesse being on the track (though he sounds pretty great) seems like an afterthought and not necessarily a true collaboration.

sometwo (July 15, 2013)

Not sure what the reviewer is talking about regarding 'no longer sharing the same headspace.' If I hadn't heard either of their post-OP projects, I would think they had been living in the same head space together for the past 20 years based on this.

telegraphrocks (July 15, 2013)

Pretty cool.

subwayscott (July 15, 2013)

The feel of this tune reminds me of the Shaken 69 track (albeit no horns). Just a group of friends getting together and throwing some stuff out there for fun. I haven't kept up with mushmouth in some time, but this is pretty good. Not his best work by a longshot, but at least he's gone back to singing where you can sorta understand his gibberish.

oldpunkerforever (July 15, 2013)

Love it, a new Rancid album please-oldpunker-

kickaha (July 15, 2013)

Sounds great! I'd like to hear more! Jessie and Tim is always a winning combination.

davebrave4 (July 15, 2013)

I love me some Classics of Love, but I wouldn't mind another track like this one either.

And idk, I thought it came pretty close to capturing the "binding magic" of Op Ivy. Obviously they can't really replicate the rawness and energy of the old days, but this track had its own energy that was different and yet very reminiscent of the old days.

mclz (July 15, 2013)

This track is soooo awesome. Jesse said there might be more collab tracks to come so I'm stoked on that.

John, as far as more COL tracks go, If I recall, Jesse is in school which is why the band is currently on hold.

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