Friday, May 23, 2008

The Cynics - Living Is The Best Revenge - 2002


After an eight-year break, the Cynics returned with Living Is the Best Revenge, which opens with Kastelic's righteous, raspy wail, frequently matched by Kostelich's righteous guitar fuzz. Smith Hutchings is the new bass player, and Tom Hohn, who skipped Get Our Way, is back on drums. They ditch the psychedelic leanings, and producer Tim Kerr captures the energy missing from Learn to Lose. The title track is clearly the album's centerpiece, an ode to the benefits of leaving behind one's vices. A guest organist provides Hammond riffs that recall "Like a Rolling Stone," a connection underscored when Kastelic adds harmonica to "Ballad of J.C. Holmes." Covers include the 13th Floor Elevators' "She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)," the Electric Prunes' "You've Never Had it Better" and "Making Deals" (the only single by a group called the Satans and a clear precursor to "Sympathy for the Devil"). Living Is the Best Revenge is the Cynics' tightest, most spirited effort since Rock'n'Roll. -Trowser Press

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