Body Count (Ice-T) "Live In LA" DVD Review & "Murder 4 Hire" CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Body Count (Ice-T) "Live In LA" DVD Review & "Murder 4 Hire" CD Review

Body Count Live in LABody Count's strength has always been their live show. While the band has had some great cuts across their three (now four) CDs -- each CD as a whole has been somewhat inconsistent. This DVD delivers a great performance by Body Count and the band draws upon the best songs in their catalog. Filmed late last year at the Troubadour in Hollywood, Ice and the band blister through 17 songs in a memorial concert dedicated to recently deceased rhythym guitarist D-Roc.

What is nice about this DVD is both the camera angles and the sound. Multiple camera angles are used (but not overproduced ala MTV) so you really get the feeling of what a Body Count show is like. There are also a lot of great closeups that highlight the talent of the various band members. I continue to believe that guitarist Ernie C is one of the best guitarists in rock, rap or metal. Ernie does a killer solo at the end of Evil Dick that blows away many of today's alleged guitar "heroes". The sound on this disc is top-notch and helps recreate the experience of a Body Count concert as it appears to be coming straight off the PA. The only downside of the PA feed is that the crowd is not mic'd so when Ice does some call and repsonse, you can't hear the audience. This is a minor issue though and it doesn't detract from a really great performance by Body Count.

This is a great disc and well worth picking up.

Body Count - Murder 4 Hire CDBody Count has been inactive for almost 8 years but they resurfaced about a year ago and started playing live again. Their first CD since 1997's Violent Demise was released this past August. Murder 4 Hire is a good CD, unfortunately it is not a great CD. There are some excellent tracks on this CD which are destined to be crowd pleasers and staples of the band's live show but the CD as a whole is very inconsistent.

What is odd about this CD is that the production differs between the first half and the second half of the CD. The first half of the CD (Tracks 1 - 5) mixes Ice's voice so much louder than the band that this, might as well be a solo CD. These tracks sound nothing like what you would expect from Body Count. These aren't bad songs -- just very, very different from the previous three Body Count CDs. Of these tracks, I particularly like End Game. With its focus on the war in Iraq, it is quite relevant to today and now.

This CD really gets going with Track 6 - an instrumental tribute to D-Roc. From there, the remaining tracks are all (soon-to-be) classic Body Count. Murder 4 Hire (written by D-Roc) is a great track and really should have been the lead off song on this disc. Down In The Bayou, which is written in the same vein as KKK Bitch, showcases Ice's ferocious wit and humour. The last track, Mr. C's Theme, showcases the mighty talents of Ernie C.

I really like this CD but will likely skip over the first five tracks on repeated plays. Long-time fans should give this CD a chance.

Body Count only did two US shows in support of the Murder 4 Hire and I consider myself fortunate to have caught the show at the Knitting Factory. Here is a link to some pictures and a recap of the show. I also have some additional pictures from the show on Flickr.