Fanâ€™s of Peter Caseâ€™s early work with the Nerves and Plimsouls have been richly rewarded over the past few years. The Nervesâ€™ original EP was issued in enhanced CD form as One Way Ticket, a rare 1977 Nerves live set was released as Live at the Pirateâ€™s Cove, a transitional project with Paul Collins as The Breakaways was released as Walking Out on Love, and a blistering 1981 Plimsouls live set was released as Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal. The latter fleshed out the Plimsouls early â€˜80s live set that was first essayed in 1988 on One Night in America. The groupâ€™s posthumous release catalog is now further expanded with this punchy stereo mix (from the original 24-track recording) of a 1983 show at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, California.
By â€˜83, the Plimsouls were a band with a catalog that included an EP and two full albums, all of which are drawn upon for a set list that reaches back to the EPâ€™s â€œZero Hourâ€ and â€œHow Long Will it Take?,â€ and â€œNowâ€ and â€œIn This Townâ€ from their self-titled debut album. The core of the set draws from their then-current 1983 release for Geffen, Everywhere at Once, including the only released live recordings of â€œHobo,â€ â€œOldest Story in the Worldâ€ and â€œMagic Touch.â€ Even more intriguing is the only known Plimsouls recording of the Peter Case original â€œWhoâ€™s Gonna Break the Ice,â€ a tune that was likely to have been the bandâ€™s next single. The set is filled out with a delectable selection of covers that includes The Creationâ€™s â€œMaking Time,â€ Moby Grapeâ€™s â€œFall on You,â€ Thee Midniters â€œJump, Jive and Harmonizeâ€ the Flaminâ€™ Grooviesâ€™ â€œJumpinâ€™ in the Night,â€ Bo Diddleyâ€™s â€œYou Canâ€™t Judge a Book by Its Coverâ€ and the Everly Brothersâ€™ â€œPrice of Love,â€ the latter with the Williams Brothers on lead vocals.
Case was in great voice and seems particularly enthused about the cover songs. But who wouldnâ€™t be jazzed by the opportunity to sing favorite songs in front of this band? The Plimsouls had long since honed themselves into a superb live unit, transcending the major label gloss of their then-current album with hard-charging rhythms equally powered by David Pahoaâ€™s bass lines, Lou Ramirezâ€™s hard-pounded drums and cymbals, and the buzz of dual electric guitars. This set hasnâ€™t the unbridled enthusiasm of their earlier live albums, but it more than makes up for it in energy and craft. Alive delivers the CD in a digipack with a six-panel booklet that includes vintage pictures, credits and an historical quote from Greg Shaw. [Â©2012 hyperbolium dot com]