Sloppy Seconds - Live - No Time for Tuning [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Sloppy Seconds

Live - No Time for Tuning [reissue] (2020)

Failure Records & Tapes

In 1995, after more than a decade as a band, Sloppy Seconds found themselves at a career crossroads. First, they were without a record label. Second, they had to break in a new guitar player after the departure of original axeman Danny Roadkill. What they did have was a great local following in Indianapolis, so they decided to reward the faithful with a live album. The show was recorded at the Emerson Theater in Indy on 4-15-95, and produced by Zero Boys frontman Paul Mayhern.

The original version of Live - No Time for Tuning was self released on CD. The next year, XXX Records in the US, and Wolverine Records in Germany reissued it, also on CD. Now, 25 years after its original release, the album is finally getting proper vinyl treatment. Indiana’s own Failure Records & Tapes is handling the reissue. (There are a couple of cool color variants.) They also reissued Sloppy Seconds’ “You Can’t Kill Joey Ramone” 7-inch single, and have real reverence for the source material. (Here’s to hoping that they get a shot at More Trouble Than They’re Worth.)

While so many live albums have an overly polished, studio sweetened sound, Live - No Time for Tuning really captures the moment. The sound is good, but also raw, like an actual punk show. You’ll feel like you’re actually among the crowd. You can almost smell the sweat and stale, spilled beer. Sloppy Seconds are clearly in their prime, and clearly in their element as they tear through 20 songs from their first two full lengths and handful of early EPs. I’ve seen Sloppy more than a dozen times, and this is an accurate representation of the experience.

Their 1989 classic Destroyed is best represented with 11 tracks (“I Don’t Wanna be a Homosexual”, “Come Back Traci”, “Veronica”, “The Horror of Party Beach”, “Steal Your Beer”, “The Candyman”, “I Want ‘Em Dead”, “Take You Home”, “So Fucked Up”, “Germany”, “Runnin from the CIA”). Most of those songs are still in the band’s live set today. 1992’s Knock Yer Block Off only gets 4 songs (“Mighty Heroes”, “Can’t Slow down”, “Ice Cream Man”, “The Kids are All Drunk”).

One song (“Queen of Outer Space”) was brand new and wouldn’t get a studio version until 1998’s More Trouble Than They’re Worth. A couple of the oldest tracks (“The Men”, “Lynchtown U.S.A.”) were mostly retired after this. Other oldies (“Human Waste”, “The Pop My Dick Song”) are still live favorites. The last “song” (“Sorry, Dude”) is an angry answering machine message from a fan. He’s very upset about the fact that he needed to buy tickets in advance for the show.

Sloppy Seconds only have four studio full lengths, so Live - No Time for Tuning is an essential piece of their discography. It proved that Ace “Spice” Hardware was going to be a great fit on guitar. He was able to handle the original parts, and even put his own unique twist on them. (He remains in the band 25 years later.) Beyond that, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. At this point, Sloppy Seconds only tour a week or two a year, so catching a live show can be difficult. This record might just be the next best thing to being there.