Caught Live

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Let's face it -- Hagfish got a raw deal. The Texas punk revivalists' 1995 release ...Rocks Your Lame Ass was a strong one, and it deserved major label attention, especially in the wake of punk's sudden mainstream acceptance. However, that same big boy clamor for giddy safety pin cred ultimately shafted the poor guys, leaving them label-less and broken and back in their hometown. Damn, that stinks. Luckily, none of that matters on Caught Live. It captures the supposed never-weres at their gritty, live best, running through material from Lame Ass and its self-titled sort-of follow-up. The hometown Dallas crowd is quite receptive, laughing at vocalist George Reagan's goofy stage patter. However, there is quite a bit of such filler, which makes Caught Live more for fans than a good introduction to the band. Anyone who enjoyed Lame Ass should get a kick out of the gritty, unbuckled versions of "Stamp," "Gertrude," and "Disappointed" here, the latter coming complete with a slowed-down conversation innuendo. Caught Live won't posit Hagfish in the punk throne they never had. But from the raucous crowd response and their obvious joy at playing, it's clear they don't need or even want to be there.

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