The Lowest of the Low

Nothing Short of a Bullet

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After an indefinite hiatus, a series of shows in the Toronto and Buffalo area in November 2000 sparked the resulting magic on this impressive live compilation. With a more mature and aged delivery, lead singer Ron Hawkins sounds eerily similar to Elvis Costello in his early days with the Attractions, specifically on songs such as the infectious and pleasing "Gamble." Most of the tunes keep to a very tight musical game plan, but there are some fluffy lightweight and rowdy barroom moments all contained in one song, with "Salesmen, Cheats & Liars" a good example, although the overall live effect is muted in the fact there is a rather spliced feel instead of concert continuity. "City Full of Cowards" is another highlight of the first half of the album, which also includes a bonus disc consisting of three newly recorded songs. The tightness of the group is also surprising given the lapse between projects. The studio songs come off a bit too polished and with some more bite. But whether this is a brief asterisk or the start of something new, the live disc is an ideal snapshot of an underrated band going out on top.

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