When I was growing up Live was absolutely my favourite band. Lightning Crashes played at every backyard party, Saturday mornings were spent waiting to see what number their latest video landed on the Rage countdown and The Distance To Here dragged me through my first breakup. I saw Live live 4 times. I had ticket stubs and lyrics posted all over my bedroom wall and while I was admittedly obsessed with the music, it was ALL ABOUT ED.
Like any Live fan I mourned over the tumultuous split between the band and their iconic lead singer. I poured over articles, reading about the nastiness and the law suits and came to the heartbreaking conclusion that it was all over. How could a band that gave us lyrics like Masters in every time, lord in every place / Those who stood up for love, down in spite of the hate be so hateful towards each other? It was business, and it took a little magic away.
But Live battled through, accepting one of music’s most dangerous feats and installing a new frontman. Their new single The Way Around Is Through debuts Chris Shinn who the remaining band members agreed was the only suitable replacement, and I think they might be right.
The Way Around Is Through is quintessential Live with a big loud opener, a guitar heavy chorus and pulled back verses. It’s a dynamic, solid rock tune that vintage Live fans are going to enjoy, but to me falls just short of a stand-alone hit. There is not a thing wrong with it. It’s traditional and would have fit in nicely on any of their previous records, but with so much build up and intrigue about the new-look Live, I wanted more. I wanted originality. I wanted a 2014 Live. I wanted a big statement that screamed “Live are back” and The Way Around Is Through leans more towards ” Live are hanging around.”
Don’t get me wrong, I liked this track. There’s comfort in the familiar and whether they are back in a big way or hanging around, the music world is better for having Live in it. Chris Shinn is a perfect fit and The Way Around Is Through acts like a nice throw back to times when the band absolutely dominated. Is this single my favourite? No. Am I excited for more? Absolutely. Bands like Genesis, AC/DC and Iron Maiden are proof there is no curse of a lead singer switch out, but others (sorry Motley Crue) haven’t been so lucky. Will Live survive? The jury’s still out. As for The Way Around Is Through, it’s cool. And that’s about it.