Spear of Destiny

Volunteers

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A fine reprise of the oldie "Never Take Me Alive" notwithstanding, Spear of Destiny's second comeback album in three years is considerably less of a thrill than it ought to have been, although it's less the songs that hurt than it is the production. The whole thing sounds under-done and lazy, as though nobody is trying too hard, and Kirk Brandon is more or less left out there alone to try and carry the performance by the sheer weight of his personality (and some well-aimed vocal histrionics) alone. Live, several of these songs took on an excellent life of their own and, returning to Volunteers after a few years away from it, it may not be as drab as it originally seemed. But for a band whose entire career was built on the wildest frontier, that really isn't good enough.

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