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"Live at the Atlantic" (CD)

Burning Love - "Live at the Atlantic" CD cover image

"Live at the Atlantic" track listing:

COLISEUM:
1. Skeleton Smile
2. Statuary (Bonus Track)
3. Isela Vega (Bonus Track)
4. Lost In Groningen
5. Cloaked In Red
6. Perimeter Man
7. Punk/Money
8. Man Was Never Meant To Fly (Bonus Track)
9. Year Of The Pig
10. Defeater

BURNING LOVE:
11. Memento Mori
12. Gain
13. Curse Breaker
14. Miserable Sound
15. Mess
16. Alien vs. Creditor
17. Money Shots
18. Burning Love (Bonus Track)

Reviewed by on September 30, 2011

"Coliseum and Burning Love are so similar in their hardcore-meets-stoner-rock approach that after several listens, I didn’t know this recording was a split."

“Live at the Atlantic” features two bands with similar sounds. These two artists, Coliseum and Burning Love, are so similar in their hardcore-meets-stoner-rock approach that after several listens, I didn’t know this recording was a split. Part of my ignorance was due to playing the album while driving, so I couldn’t peruse the details. Even without a readily-available track listing, the differences between both bands should have been apparent. That is not the case with “Live at the Atlantic.”

Coliseum hails from the south, Kentucky to be exact, so the group’s stoner rockin’ sounds comes with no surprises. While Coliseum doesn’t possess the swampy, southern groove of so many bands from this fold, the band brings an upbeat vibe and guitar play that is so common in this field. This style is more of a surprise coming from Canada's Burning Love, although there is no law stating that a band has to sound like its surroundings.

The eight songs that comprise Burning Love’s set surely owes more to punk and hardcore than their tour mates on this live set. Burning Love’s songs are shorter than Coliseum and the punk rhythms are more apparent. Both bands feature a front man with Henry Rollins-type vocal bravado, although Burning Love’s Chris Colohan is a bit beefier than Coliseum’s Ryan Patterson. Again, both singers possess a voice close enough to muddy distinction.

While both bands utilize a punky framework, Coliseum’s rhythms have a greater lasting effect than Burning Love. Their fuzzy tones, buzzing effects and dynamics create sharper hooks than Burning Love. “Statuary” and “Defeater” begin with crisp, popping drum solos that help define these tracks. This is not to say that Burning Love doesn’t have its shining moments. Nimble fret play brings “Gain” to a swell that soon bursts when the group hits deeper chords. “Alien vs. Creditor” is memorable enough in title alone, but the fuzzy, desert rock tones help make this another remarkable track.

“Live at the Atlantic” works in the area of hazy guitar tones and energetic movements. Coliseum’s drums are of note, too. Sure, the album has its hooks, but there isn’t enough meat here to satisfy this carnivore. The lack of melody, refrain and ho-hum vocals keeps this recording from receiving a better-than-average treatment.

Highs: The energy and fuzzy guitar tones.

Lows: Neither band creates memorable hooks.

Bottom line: The lack of melody, refrain and ho-hum vocals keeps this recording from receiving a better-than-average treatment.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)