LIVE Proof That the Youth are Revolting
1999 5 Minute Walk Records

When I first heard that the world's greatest ska band, Five Iron Frenzy, was putting out a live album, I was a bit discouraged. It seemed like a decade or so since their last release, which was a mere EP at that, and live albums are usually more of a cop out than EPs. Now I just have one thing to say: "What was I thinking?" What better band than FIF (besides the massive P.O.D.) is there to do a live album?

My recently neglected love for the band was renewed in full by this fun-filled disc. It's packed with 18 tracks, not including the stuff in between each of them, or the hilarious out takes at the end. The energy and adrenalin rush of a Five-Iron show is wonderfully captured here, as well as the band's spontaneous goofiness. I have been blessed to see them a couple of times, and while listening to this record, I got the same vibe I had received at their shows. You feel like you're right in there with the rest of the audience, and you can't help but move and sing along with them.

All three of their past albums are represented here (most of the songs played at a faster tempo), as well as two new songs and, my personal favorite, a cover of Tom Jones' It's Not Unusual. The new songs are just awesome, the first about the Columbine High Incident (A New Hope) and the other about Reese's recent breakup with his fiancee (Ugly Day). A New Hope reminds me of The Untimely Death of Brad, but is obviously more serious, and Ugly Day has an almost swingy feel. Both are heart-rending and very, very enjoyable.

This disc is an absolute must-have for any Five Iron Frenzy fan. If you are bummed out by the fact that this is not a new studio release, go get it anyway - I guarantee that you won't be disappointed. And feel free to sing along, it's just part of the experience.

James Florence

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