Jupid Oak

Live In Shangri-La

Written by: PP on 27/07/2013 16:55:27

Live albums are one thing, but deciding to record your debut album in front of a live audience in a venue notorious for its questionable sound? That's an ambitious effort that takes some balls, and a strange choice to introduce your sound to the world, if you ask me. Nonetheless that's exactly what Danish alternative rockers Jupid Oak chose to do on December 27th at Råhuset, Copenhagen: record their debut album "Live In Shangri-La" all in one take, live, in front of their fans, friends, and family, some of whom you can hear cheering at the end of the songs on the background (again, this is odd for what is meant to be a studio album). Their reasoning? They want people to experience Jupid Oak exactly as they are live every time they pop on the record.

The good news is that Jupid Oak are relatively successful in their venture. What could've easily turned into a cacophonous mess due to bad sound and glitches/errors in playing is a well-executed soundscape that in reality benefits from the live sound instead of it being a handicap. And that's because Jupid Oak set their sights to the early 90s Seattle grunge scene, specifically bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots, all of whom are known for their expansive soundscapes that echo across a good pair of headphones precisely in the same manner as their live performances do in arena-sized venues. So when you have a vocalist like Jonathan Klem--who essentially sounds like the bastard child between Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell--crooning over grunge style guitar riffs across a wide open soundscape, it's going to sound good live, and in turn, the record is going to sound excellent. The live echo adds an element of warmth to his vocal performance, which is almost otherworldly compared to what we normally hear from Danish rock bands: he has soul, passion, and charisma to share for the entire scene, if needed. Just take a listen to "I'm Free", "Fading Away", "Melancholia" or "Trippin'", and tell me you don't get shivers and nostalgic flashbacks to early 90s Pearl Jam records while listening to him? Yeah, it's that good at times.

Other than Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and especially Stone Temple Pilots (instrumentally) are revisited here, so we're knee-deep in the classic 90s rock sound when rock bands sounded like rock bands, instead of the trendy and fashionable stuff we tend to hear these days. But it does also mean that "Live In Shangri-La" is inevitably a retrospective record that doesn't quite sound updated to the modern scene, but then again, it doesn't need to as long as the songs are good, which is also the case throughout this record.

Download: I'm Free, Fading Away, Melancholia
For the fans of: Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.03.2013

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