Come's Near Life Experience covers both old territory for the band as well as heading in new, exciting directions. Singers/guitarists Thalia Zedek and Chris Brokaw weathered the departure of the band's original rhythm section a year ago, to be replaced by 11 different musicians for the recording of this album, including bassists and drummers from groups like the Jesus Lizard, Retsin, Tortoise, and Rachel's. Whoever's playing on the tracks, it's clear from the opening of "Hurricane" that Come is a re-energized, even more powerful band than they used to be, and that Near Life Experience is their most concise and affecting release yet. Come's trademark bluesy-punk sound is still apparent on songs like "Hurricane" and "Bitten," but the group stretches in different directions with gentle ballads like "Weak As the Moon" and "Slow Eyed." Zedek's voice is as gravelly and emotive as ever, and with the different song styles on Near Life Experience, has even more room to express itself. Brokaw also sings lead (a first) on two of the album's more accessible tracks, the single "Secret Number" and "Shoot Me First." Though it's only eight tracks long, Come packs more musical experiences into Near Life Experience than most groups do in an entire discography.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares