Matgo Primo, El Deth Halloween 2004: Dead & Live (El Deth)
It's appropriate to call the return of local label El Deth a resurrection—its first two releases since its revival in late summer have been a previously unreleased session from label head Arrison Kirby's post-rock/jazz band Obadiah and now this five-year-old live set from Matgo Primo, remixed and remastered by Kirby. Dead & Live was recorded during a 2004 Halloween concert in a barn on a tree farm in Philadelphia, Tenn., complete with an intermission for an announcement that "the cops are outside." It's a vigorous set by the off-and-on (mostly off lately) Matgo Primo; the band's glam- and New Wave-inspired garage rock is tight and focused, especially on the rhythmically tricky "Holes in the Wall," the hardcore-paced "80s Pop," and the synth-driven "In Advance of a Broken Arm." Frontman Tim Eisinger's vocals may be an obstacle for some listeners, but they generally fit the (barely) controlled chaos of the band behind him. At least as good as the band's performance is the relatively high quality of the recording, which is surprisingly clear given the circumstances.