Live...For the Record

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Fear came out of the same late 1970s Bay Area punk scene that gave us the Dead Kennedys, and not surprisingly, the two bands were sometimes compared. But while the Kennedys were an intensely socio-political band that occasionally got into shock value for its own sake ("Too Drunk to Fuck"), Fear was a more consistently humorous, less political band that always thrived on shock value. Fear's rude, crude, dark-humored, and often brilliant lyrics offended those with delicate sensibilities, and Lee Ving wouldn't have had it any other way. Recorded live in L.A. in 1986 but not released until 1991, Live...For the Record captures Fear in all of its twisted, in-your-face glory. Those who haven't experienced the pleasures of Fear would be better off starting out with The Record, Fear's most essential album, but die-hard fans will appreciate hearing raw live versions of classics like "I Love Livin' in the City," "More Beer," "I Don't Care About You" and "Beef Bologna." Although the sound quality isn't perfect -- decent, but not perfect -- the CD has no problem capturing Fear's vitality. A few of the tunes have a strong political message; "Let's Have A War," for example, is a not-too-subtle commentary on U.S. foreign policy. But for the most part, Live...For the Record is an exercise in reckless, unapologetic fun.

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