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HAREM SCAREM – Live At The Siren (1998)

A great live release, but not the full show unfortunately
HAREM SCAREM - Live At The Siren
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    78%
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Overall
78%

The Japanese really have the art of fan exploitation down to a fine art. For a good while they were the saviours of melodic rock, and still do at times come up with the goods to finance great bands to record once again.

But in some cases, they have too much control. Here is a prime example. Not 12 months since their last live record ‘Live In Japan’, Harem Scarem seemed to be filling the gap left by Mr. Big for AOR fans. One studio record – one live record – another studio record – ect. ect.

But sure enough – I have bought this record, so what place have I to complain? Well, there are a couple of angles.

First the good stuff. The band sound a million bucks, and the live sound/production is superb. Also we have the bonus a two new studio tracks, that are set to preview the new album coming later this year.

Tables Turing is a great Harem Scarem classic, with a mid-paced rock/ballad spiced up with a huge anthem like chorus. That like we have come to expect from the band.

The second new tune is New Religion, which is from the more modern side of Harem Scarem’s style. A real 90’s flavoured track that is not as immediately classic as the first, but a real grower with a great chorus, and definite proof that the band are heading back into prime form.

Now my downsides – at 12 live tracks, it is obvious we are not getting the full show. Why not include a few extra tracks? I don’t think you can ever cut a live record short.

And to add to that, one of the tracks is a cover, one an instrumental, and two of the tracks being the more alternative tracks left off the original Japanese release.

The other complaint is that there is a single for New Religion, which adds another couple of live tracks. In Japanese prices, that is always going to be a lot for a couple of live tracks. Why not add them to the original record?

For fans only – although it does sound great.