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Audioslave - "Untitled Live EP" (CD/EP)

Audioslave - "Untitled Live EP" CD/EP cover image

"Untitled Live EP" track listing:

1. Set It Off
2. Doesn't Remind Me
3. Gasoline
4. Out of Exile

Reviewed by on October 8, 2006

"Audioslave may never fully outshine their previous track records but they play with an undaunted confidence nonetheless. "

As live acts go, Audioslave are oft noted for standing directly beneath the shadow of their past. Being a composite of members from Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden damns the band to a career rife with comparisons. Rage Against the Machine’s live performances are the stuff of legend and street riots (see Lolapalooza 1993, Woodstock 1999, and Wall Street in 2000) while Soundgarden’s “thinking man’s metal” preserved and even restored the genres credibility after years of glam decadence.

Audioslave come off as a rock band that enjoys what it does but lacks the energy and purpose of its precursors. This may have something to do with the band incorporating some of U2's warmth and simplicity while exorcizing some of the metal and funk swagger that are the bands' signature. The band get off on the right foot with “Set It Off” which sounds like a revived RATM with Chris Cornell sending his vocal chords out of his mouth more than once. “Doesn’t Remind Me” seems a bit sedated by comparison but it is more lively than the studio version. It seems a bit forced but “Gasoline” is a tight demonstration in which Cornell seems to get a second wind during the bridge. Closing track “Out of Exile” finds engaging performances by all members, with Cornell singing fluidly and guitar prodigy Tom Morrello knocking out a studio perfect solo.

Audioslave may never fully outshine their previous track records but they play with an undaunted confidence nonetheless. The band demonstrate veteran dexterity and Cornell rarely gives fans halfhearted vocal performances. However, the bands forays into pop-rock might induce yawns from the those eagerly awaiting a stomping anthem and otherworldly guitar solos. Audioslave are a mostly consistent act in the live setting and have clearly set the bar for all modern super groups. Only time will tell whether this band can achieve the acclaim established by its predecessors.

Highs: A clean and well mixed live offering and a potent rendition of “Set It Off”.

Lows: Perhaps appropriately, “Doesnt Remind Me” does not sound like Audioslave but instead REM or U2.

Bottom line: Audioslave will always have to reckon with their past in Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden but still manage to impress with their forceful and streamlined hard rock.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)