Earth-searing live performance that brokers no compromise but takes one on a bumpy roller coaster ride.
Intensity and occasional release: that’s what this band’s studio output has been about since their very start. Yet saxophonist Danny Markovitch and guitarist Dani Rabin seem to progressively disown their past and live in the moment and for the future, a stance which their first concert album embodies in full. Its title makes one forget there was a record in their pre-MoonJune times, even though the hypnotic riffs of “Crystal Bell” spring from there, just like its setlist ignores their label debut, opting for fresh compositions instead and adding a couple of numbers from the then-forthcoming "Last Chapter Of Dreaming". The vestiges of 2012 get spiked with much vigor on-stage for “Redline” to bristle with dirty, if filigree, funk and elicit cheers from the audibly rocked audience, and for closer “Volta” to tone down the nervous twang only to kick it in the alert zone.
And that’s where it all begins, as “Special Olympics” is revving the anxiety levels in the space between brass and strings assault which, for all their rage, never veers away from the melodic loop, while “The Depot” pours heaviness into the mold and creates a MARBIN analog of “21st Century Schizoid Man” allowing the guest rhythm section swing fiercely. The release of sorts descends with the sparse, spaced-out blues of “Rabak” and with “Culture” whose Middle Eastern motifs betray the group’s Israeli roots before they step onto the rocky route and romp through the contagious “Vanthrax.” Yet the sturm-und-drang of “Splaw” feels too raw and fails to hit the right buttons until it dilutes into blue notes and bares genuine emotions feeding the sophisticated interplay under the raging veneer, but it’s “Northern Odyssey” that enshrines their journey into a lyrical tune and calms the pace.
Intensity and occasional release go to the extremes on-stage, yet provide a nice, if uneasy, snapshot of MARBIN’s progress.