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What A Way To See The Old Girl Go
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  • "Really the only superstars in Portland!" That's how some nameless fan introduces Dead Moon on this live recording that documents their performance on the closing night of Portland, Oregon's fabled X-Ray Cafe. Though that might not be true in 2017, one could have easily made a case for Dead Moon being one of the Pacific Northwest's great unsung heroes on August 16, 1994, with this recording as evidence. What a Way to See the Old Girl Go captures Dead Moon in what could be called typical form -- Fred Cole's elemental guitar work and high, switchblade-sharp vocals are the ideal meeting place between '60s punk and '80s punk, Toody Cole's no-frills bass work and second-chair vocals give Fred all the support he needs, and Andrew Loomis keeps things charging behind the drum kit, kicking these tunes in the butt and adding abundant forward momentum. For anyone familiar with Dead Moon, What a Way to See the Old Girl Go won't deliver a wealth of surprises, but it also confirms what made them great; like the Ramones, Dead Moon gloriously built more out of less, and this set demonstrates how much sweat, energy, and passion they could pour into their songs. And if their approach was far from unique, the way Dead Moon wrote songs and brought them to the stage set them apart from whatever creative peers Fred and Toody had as punk rock's most celebrated grandparents. Dead Moon were generally a lot better on-stage than they were in the studio, and this release gets their juice onto plastic with an impressive accuracy and a raucous send of wild fun, not always the case with a live album. Sub Pop's excellent two-disc anthology Echoes of the Past is still be best extant introduction to Dead Moon's recordings, but if you want to know how much fun their shows could be, What a Way to See the Old Girl Go is an excellent starting point. ~ Mark Deming
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