Friday, August 28, 2009

Record Review: Living Colour's 'The Chair in the Doorway'

Record Review: Living Colour's 'The Chair in the Doorway'


"The Chair in the Doorway"

Kindred spirits: Jane's Addiction, Public Enemy

Show: Tuesday at the Birchmere. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. 703-549-7500.

This is going to sound a tad, well, quaint. But when Living Colour burst on the scene in the late 1980s, people were surprised to discover the musicians were rockers.

Many couldn't grasp that the African American members weren't playing R&B or rap. Yet they rocked, winning the support of Mick Jagger and Grammys before disbanding in 1995.

The group has been back since 2000 and just released "The Chair in the Doorway." When Living Colour launches its national tour Tuesday at the Birchmere, audiences will realize the band still rocks with the best of them.

This time out, its sound tips a bit more alt with plenty of laser-gun-like special effects supplementing the band's trademark throbbing guitars and percussion on songs such as "The Chair." "Bless Those (Little Annie's Prayer)" has guitar work that is arguably as sophisticated as anything Jack White and his various musical incarnations turn out, with varying tempos that take the sound from blues-tinged, Southern rock to hard rock complete with semi guitar solo.

The band even inches toward Slayer territory with "Out of My Mind," a percussion-driven creed with just enough dash to keep it rooted in alt rock.

Welcome back, Living Colour. Your music still shines bright.

-- Nancy Dunham


Anonymous said...

"Bless Those (Little Annie's Prayer)" has guitar work that is arguably as sophisticated as anything Jack White and his various musical incarnations turn out.

I burst out laughing when I read this. How can this woman possibly come out with such nonsense? Vernon's always been way, way ahead of that guy.

The Panamaniac said...

Although I enjoy Jack Whites various incarnations(Dead Weather is quite interesting)...I too must scoff at the comparison.Perhaps it was....Nah I cant even make excuses, that just sounded nuckin futz!!! Vernon's guitar playing was beyond that level of "sophistication" b4 living colour existed. Glad the fellas will be back in the ATL on the 14th.My boy called from Virginia and said they killed. One of the most underrated bands in rock history. I look forward to hearing them live again.

Anonymous said...

Caught these fellas in the quite little town of Norfolk, CT. Sometimes it's more commonly known as "where are we," or "I told you we got off the wrong exit back there!!!" Great show. I love all of the minor glitches of seeing a band who has not toured in a minute (though obvious professionals), or maybe more pertinently, is just about to drop a new album. Again, had a blast, and though I am a pretty sizable Jack White fan, it isn't even fair to try and compare him to Vernon.

RJ said...

Yeah, this is the same anonymous as the last comment. I just re-read the artist formerly known as anonymous' first comment there. I can't help but frankly state that he/she is completely talking out of his/her ass. To make a proclamation that LC's work (thereby including Vernon's) is "as sophisticated as anything that Jack White/turn(s) out" lends much insight to the understanding of musicianship of one who would write such a thing. Again, I appreciate Jack White. But I'm curious to know the basis for his/her definition of "sophisticated." Peace.

Anonymous said...

OK, RJ. I'm the "anonymous" who posted the first comment, and I certainly don't think I was "talking out of his/her ass". You say you "re-read" my comment. It appears you didn't pay much attention to the original post I was commenting on, though; the first paragraph of my comment is a direct quote from it, which is why I said I burst out laughing when I first read it as it's such patent nonsense.

By the way, my name is Paul, I live in North London, and have my tickets for the December show here.