Kill Your Idols - Live at CBGB's [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Kill Your Idols

Live at CBGB's [reissue] (2005)

Blackout! / Creep

Kill Your Idols were never really the most innovative band ever, but I doubt it was ever really the point. Blackout! Records, in conjunction with Creep, presents some steadfast evidence in this, Live at CBGB's. Recorded straight off the soundboard at a headlining gig in July 2000, it's a compact disc reissue of the album, originally released as a limited pressing through Creep in 2002. The band plays straightforward, 80's-inspired hardcore with garbled vocals atop of a melodic but always driving undercurrent of guitars, and here we're offered a fairly comprehensive look at those early days in the live format.

Andy's consistent bark sounds pretty clear over his band's never-stopping onslaught of punk rock-driven tempos at the legendary club in New York City. While the band's style tends to run together a bit severely, leaving little room for standouts or prime moments, the band makes due. Fan favorite "Falling" is the climax of memorable times here, as the guitars sound ridiculously melodic and urgent, and the gang vocals are in some spots that work spectacularly well, and it's really the only place on the disc that you can hear the crowd. The infectious "Cast Me Aside" is another, with some more creative, playful guitar work scattered around its playing time. I'd be lying if I didn't say "Send in the Clowns" is another of my favorites on the album, with some backups that help it immensely and a little metal solo tucked in at the end. "Autumn" and "Epilouge" play off their respective hooks nicely to make for late entry notables. There's a breather offered between every four-song block, and thankfully so, as even with blasts as short as a buck-seven are hitting you, oxygen is deficient.

Between now and the time of the live show most of the material in the band's discography has seen its release, but the set list does manage to pull from a fairly healthy number of albums. 1999's This is Just the Beginning EP, a 2000 split with the Nerve Agents as well as that year's No Gimmicks Needed LP and a compilation song all take turns contributing to the makeup of the track listing.

Obviously, any band is usually better served with a live album a bit later in their careers, and Kill Your Idols would be no exception, surely sidestepping the risk of decreased passion and energy since they still have it in spades these days. However, if you're looking for a no-frills, raw drive of old-school-influenced hardcore punk and all the same a retrospective-style look at the earlier days of one of -- if not the -- best hardcore bands to come out of Long Island, NY, Live at CBGB's is a pretty safe bet.