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WINO (Live At Roadburn 2009) LP/CD

After the end of The Hidden Hand, Scott 'Wino' Weinrich did not take a long break, but instead started to work on his first solo album named 'Punctuated Equilibrium' which has been released in 2009. Along with that he invited his friends Jon Blank (bass) and Jean Paul Gaster (drums) to participate in the recording sessions. Very soon the WINO band evolved out of this sessions and it was very gratifying to read that they had planned a tour in Europe in 2009, including an appearance at the Doom Shall Rise festival as well as Roadburn. Back then I had seen the band live on stage and it was really a strong performance. Unfortunately, I was pretty tired so that I couldn't fully appreciate the show but thankfully Roadburn Records (a division of Burning World Records) had the idea to release a live album in 2010 from WINO's show at Roadburn's Afterburner. Thus it is possible for me to make up for lost time.

'Live At Roadburn 2009' is exactly as a live record should be: raw, raucous, spontaneous and loud. Who'd ever visited Roadburn Festival knows that they have an extremely well-mixed live sound at each venue and on the basis of that, there's nothing to complain about the sound quality. Wino's guitar has a fat-backed, brutally fuzzed-out sound while Jon Blank's full solid bottom end and J.P. Gaster's hard-hitting drumming style are perfectly tuned to work together. Therefore it is pretty exciting to listen to those moments when they start to jam their way through tracks as, for example, 'Release Me/Wild Blue Yonder' or 'Lost Sun Dance/Secret Realm'. Except for The Hidden Hand, the set list offers a good selection of songs from Wino's own bands, with the emphasis on The Obsessed and 'Punctuated Equilibrium'. Even older classics like 'Yen's Sleep' or the wonderful 'Neatz Brigade' made their way to the stage so that Obsessed aficionados like me are spoiled for choice.

It is obvious that there is always a song that you miss, but nonetheless 'Live At Roadburn 2009' offers something for old and new fans. One can feel the enthusiasm of the band from which results a good atmosphere. Needless to say that, as always, Wino's voice and guitar playing is unmistakeably original even if there are only a few mistakes. But here we have an authentic live recording and not some kind of high-gloss polished mainstream product. Therefore, everything would be rosy, if there was not the sudden death of Jon Blank who died four days after this show. This ensures that 'Live At Roadburn' is his sad farewell, but I think he would have been proud of this heavy record not only because it's dedicated to him. This album releases pure energy from start to finish and if you are a fan of Wino's work you should buy a copy as soon as possible. A classic live rock album for sure.