Attack in Japan

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Quite easily eclipsing 1997's other live venture, Amrep Christmas, this live document -- engineered cleanly with full instrument separation -- from April 12, 1995, at the Shinyuku Loft in Tokyo, Japan, serves as a near-masterpiece in underground live recording. With the entire band in absolute peak-playing capacity -- due undoubtedly to months of constant touring with this set -- Attack in Japan flows seamlessly from track to track, with little or no error, either in recording or musical execution. The song list covers staples from both Total Destruction and Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, as well as a liberal sampling of earlier cuts like "Urge to Kill," "Exterminator," and Led Zeppelin's "4-Stix." Most importantly, the barely contained energy of this live set is more than evident, especially when the trio pushes the envelope, jamming, adding noisy textures, and generally wringing the songs bone-dry. Though this disc is quite difficult to find, especially in the United States, it's worth the price.

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