Today Is the Day

Sadness Will Prevail/Live Till You Die

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This three-disc Relapse set includes Today Is the Day's August 2000 release, Live Till You Die, and the 2002 double-disc Sadness Will Prevail. There's no additional material -- Sadness doesn't even include the two bonus tracks that its Japanese import version featured. However, for anyone curious about Today Is the Day's crushing, warped experimentalism, this might be a good place to start. Live Till You Die is compiled from a series of sources both live and in the studio, and features Today Is the Day mastermind Steve Austin collaborating with a few different lineups. There are cracked and messy covers of Chris Isaak, the Beatles, and Bad Company; "Color of Psychic Power" and "High as the Sky" show off the band's relentlessly churning live presence; and the instrumental "TDA" is a home recording dating from 1998. Particularly interesting are "Temple of the Morning Star" and "Blindspot," two recordings straight from a radio broadcast (the DJ's introductions are included) that feature Austin on acoustic guitar and vocals supported by bongos and Casio keyboard. Sadness Will Prevail is a sprawling mishmash of typical Today Is the Day noise rock interspersed with manipulated tape experiments, gently threatening instrumentals, and wandering forays into sonic splooge. "Never Answer the Phone" is over 23 minutes long and plays like the mini soundtrack to a horror film in the middle of side two, and the twinkling keyboards of "Your Life Is Over" ride a jarring electric pulse into "Control the Media"'s lurching metal. Side one's "Christianized Magick" is queasy doom metal modified by studio effects; "Butterflies" layers Austin's horrible screams over music boxes, skittering drums, and what might be a harp. Today Is the Day will never be mistaken for the most accessible band in the world. But as Sadness Will Prevail/Live Till You Die proves, they're never, ever devoid of ideas and destruction.

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