Faith & Disease

Livesongs: Third Body

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The title's a touch unusual but, a couple of bonus studio tracks aside, this is indeed Faith & Disease at various live dates (covering 1992 to 1996), ranging from club shows to outdoor festivals and even to a local TV spot. With Dara Rosenwasser and Eric Cooley backed by three other musicians, though all other Faith & Disease members of the era have separate credits as well, the band covers an interesting range of stylistic ground throughout the collection, which is organized in no particular order, chronologically or otherwise. Most numbers are familiar from the original recordings, including their excellent take on Renaissance's "Ashes Are Burning," with some astonishing guitar work from Steven Knouse while Rosenwasser's vocals are among her best ever. There are some interesting ringers as well, though, with Faith & Disease's range shown by two other remakes. "Witches," which eventually surfaced in studio form on Insularia, is a Cowboy Junkies composition given a fine electric folk-rock reading, while the studio take "Overwhelmed Beneath Me" was originally done for the Black Tape for a Blue Girl tribute album Of These Reminders. The band's original material, meanwhile, gets very fine performances throughout, including some real winners. "Violet," taken from a hometown show at the Crocodile Café, flows with a gentle majesty, the haunting romantic goth quality of the band's earliest efforts fully coming to bear. "Closure Song," meanwhile, finds Faith & Disease's open debt to bands like the Cure admirably repaid, with dramatic, slow-pound drumming from Rick Allen and an absolutely entrancing all-around performance making this version the definitive one. The concluding "Healing Anne," the earliest track on the disc, makes for a slightly murky but still interesting listen, finding the group already in command of the basic sound if not yet making a totally individual mark.

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