Baroness – Live at Maida Vale – BBC (Relapse)

Sunday, 28th July 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Recorded barely a month before their near-fatal bus accident in England, Live at Madia Vale captures the Yellow & Green formation of Baroness in full stride circa July 2012. A four-song recording for the BBC, Maida Vale Studios was the home of the legendary John Peel Sessions, where the likes of David Bowie and the Rolling Stones cut their teeth and perhaps more intrinsic to this crowd, is where Napalm Death and Carcass saw their first (and probably only) radio action. Suffice it to say, Baroness is much more radio friendly.

All the cuts here are from Yellow & Green (which is vastly overrated), but at least the album’s standout numbers “Take My Bones Away” and “March to the Sea” are included. Both have the type of momentous, sing-a-long choruses that worked so well on Blue Record, but were largely absent across the board on Yellow & Green, which is where “Cocanium” comes in. “The Line Between” has a heavier hustle and jubilant melodies, which makes it more redeemable in the live setting.

The physical version of Live at Maida Vale comes with a silkscreen pressing of singer/guitarist John Baizley’s very cool swan image, so snap one up if you’re into collectibles, or into hearing the last recordings of a very heralded, but short-lived incarnation of Baroness.

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