The more jaded I become with the music industry and what’s popular today, the more I appreciate bands like the Lower Class Brats.
Loud and Out of Tune is a live CD/DVD combo, with the CD being recorded at the Allen Theater in Southgate, CA in July of 2006, and the live show on the DVD recorded on May 4th, 2005 at El Corazon in Seattle, Washington.
The DVD, while it does have a few nice features, is clearly the less impressive of the CD/DVD combo. The music video for “Just Like Clockwork” is a cool feature that shows lead singer Bones donning his “Fornicate The State” jacket and has some great live clips fused into the video. The live portion of the DVD was filmed from a single camera in the back of the audience, apparently with no professional audio recording equipment. As you can imagine, the sound is muddy and the camera work is minimal, but the show does include some highlights, like the catchy whoa-along “Bite the Bullet,” where two cute blondes hop onstage to help sing while the audience pumps fists through the entire song. The live portion also contains comedic elements, where at one point in the anthemic “Who Writes Your Rules?,” a chubby mohawked kid with a Misfits shirt jumps on stage and unsuccessfully attempts to stage dive twice, being immediately pushed back to the stage after both attempts, as he then resorts to walking off the side of the stage. In watching the live concert, it’s painfully apparent how out of place guitarist Marty is in the street punk band, with Gene Simmons hair, a Flying V guitar, and Hanoi Rocks cutoff.
Along with the music video, the best part of the DVD may be the sneak preview to the upcoming Lower Class Brats video documentary, This Is Real. From the looks of it, the documentary will feature professional live footage, far superior to that of this live DVD. In addition, it will take viewers along for the ride of a touring punk band, showing realities like sleeping in the van and the simple pleasures that touring bands enjoy to stay sane on the road.
The live CD is, all in all, a fairly good encapsulation of the Lower Class Brats (and their fans), with a nice song selection and quality audio recording. Unlike the band’s latest full-length, The New Seditionaries, the song selection includes plenty of clockwork punk, with songs like “Ultra-Violence,” “Just Like Clockwork,” “Sex and Violence,” and “Clockwork Fuse” peppering the set list. Although the Misfits have been dead since Jerry Only decided to exploit their legacy, Lower Class Brats’ cover of “Bullet” is pretty decent, though it’s kind of sad that My Chemical Romance does a better Misfits cover than an actual punk band. After the last song, “Just Like Clockwork,” the band returns for an encore that features “Safety Pinned and Sick” and an impromptu rendition of “Orphans Don’t Run."
With the energetic performance and excellent song selection, Loud and Out of Tune may actually be a great starting point for listeners just getting into the Lower Class Brats. It’s amazing how certain snobby reviewers can miss the point of the Lower Class Brats entirely. Raucous, rebellious, and fun is what the Lower Class Brats shoot for, and that’s exactly what they achieve with Loud and Out of Tune.