The Fatima Mansions - Western Union Steakout
Praise be for harder-edged rock music that doesn't make you feel stupid for listening to it. This rare promotional disc features a live performance recorded in New York City during November 1994 while the Mansions were on tour for their final album — and arguably most trenchant offering — Lost in the Former West. Four songs from the aforementioned full-length appear here alongside "Evil Man" from their third album Valhalla Avenue, the initially non-LP single "Blues for Ceauşescu" and two songs from Viva Dead Ponies. The most recent numbers sound fairly under-rehearsed, with "Belong Nowhere" coming closest to matching the ire of its studio counterpart. The aforementioned "Blues for Ceauşescu" moves at a quicker clip than the original and seems a bit less threatening musically than before, but the extra ad-libs, one-liners and anecdotes from Cathal Coughlan make up for the slight decrease in signal distortion. The songs from Viva Dead Ponies improve upon their comparatively fussier album arrangements; the band's in incendiary top-form on these tracks and Coughlan will rip your fucking head clean off and use it as a latrine. His banter between songs is pretty goddamn savory, too.
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