LIVE -- Secret Samadhi (Radioactive)

Live achieved great commercial success with their second album, Throwing Copper. For the new album, the York, PA foursome didn't stray much from the formula that gave them multi-platinum success the last time. Secret Samadhi gets off to a great start with three songs in a row--"Rattlesnake," "Lakini's Juice" (the first single & video), and "Graze." After that, the roller coaster ride begins. The next song, "Century" features lyrics like "this puke stinks like beer" and "I can smell your armpits." In the immortal words of Frank Zappa, "ultimately, who gives a fuck anyway."

Luckily, lyricist & lead vocalist Ed Kowalczyk loses his fixation with puke & armpits by the time they get to the next song, "Ghost." Although the song sounds like "t.b.d." part two, it's really the only track worth mentioning where they try anything new. The backing vocals by Jennifer Charles (of Elysian Fields) add a new dimension to the band's music. Unfortunately, it's the only song on the CD that she appears on. "Unsheathed" is up next, and it pretty much sucks. The only other song worth mentioning on the CD is "Heropsychodreamer." Patrick Dahlheimer lays down a mean bass line on the track, with the urgency of early U2. The lyrics could be better, but the music kicks ass.

Secret Samadhi is essentially Throwing Copper II. If you liked the last album, you'll probably like this one too. Just don't look for much in the way of anything new.

© 1997 Steve Marshall