|Live Free Or Die|
|Produced by Steve Brown|
|Released on 1988|
|US CHART POSITION #174|
|Find it at GEMM|
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T rust me, after 10 minutes of this you’ll choose death willingly, happily. Balaam and the Angel (named after perhaps the paintings or the biblical passage that inspired them) started out as a goth/metal band (presumably not a very good one), but by Live Free Or Die they were making product pure and simple. This is what hair metal would sound like without the great guitar licks or over-the-top vocals or sexual innuendo, which pretty much leaves you with just the hair (and Balaam and the Angel do have a lot of that). It doesn’t even rock as hard as the New Hampshire license plate it’s named after (America’s Dairyland – that’s what they should have called it). Their second full-length album is full of filler: “Big City Fun Time Girl” (note: they’re not actually German, just really lyrically challenged), “Long Time Loving You, “On The Run.” The lyrics are pretty terrible and sometimes unintentionally creepy; e.g., “Hey young girl take a look at me now/I’m a long time loving you” (prompting the questions: How young and How long?). Cult-producer Steve Brown doesn’t do the band any favors; the arrangements are stripped down to basic guitar/bass/drums/vocals, which would be fine if there were some shredding or shrieking to fill the gaps. There isn’t. I’m not even sure there’s a single guitar solo on here. This is the tinseltown rebellion that Frank Zappa warned you about, and you’d do best just to move on and not make ear contact. For reasons I can’t begin to fathom (excepting maybe man’s bottomless capacity for cruelty), a digitally remastered expanded reissue of Live Free Or Die was released in 2008.
IAN McKEAN -- guitar
DES MORRIS -- drums, percussion
JIM WARD MORRIS -- guitar
MARK MORRIS -- bass, vocals
Steve Brown -- mixing
Mike Shipley -- remixing
Sheila Rock -- photos
KB4DKB -- sleeve
return to BALAAM AN THE ANGEL discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|GER||1988||Virgin||LP||208 713-630||lyric sleeve|
|UK||2008||Cherry Red||CDX||CDMGOTH-34||digital remaster w. bonus tracks|
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