While Noothgrush had a few releases in 2011, one of them was a look backward to a somewhat different time and place. An archival collection of two live-on-college-radio performances from 1996 and 1999 respectively, Live for Nothing is in ways a capturing of a time-and-place moment; given how metal as a whole seemed to gain a perceived respectability throughout the early 2000s and after, Noothgrush's unapologetic howl, sludge, and raspy stomp show perception was not always reality when the quality was already there. The Bay Area had already built up its own considerable reputation over the preceding couple of decades, and if Noothgrush were South Bay types, they were nonetheless in a larger context that didn't need an imprimatur to do whatever it wanted to. The band's approach, seemingly equally derived from the Melvins, Godheadsilo, and something primordial, turns out to be perfect as a result. The distinct difference in vocals once the brilliantly titled "Procreation of the Wicked" kicks in, shifting from breathless angry rasp to deep guttural rumble, equally demi-intelligible, is a highlight, while "Useless" appears to have both trading off lines. Meantime, a change in echo and texture on "Oil Removed" signals the difference between the two sessions, if only to show that three years had only made their approach all that more refined. Perhaps further appropriate for the Bay Area is the amount of Star Wars references in the song titles from the earliest days, such as "Sith" and "Dianoga." But there's also "Derrell's Porno Song," the one number shared by both sets -- which perhaps appropriately enough in the first version comes a bit close to cock rock swagger and boogie, right down to a yank-em-and-crank-em guitar solo, and why not?
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett