Label: RockVille Music 2011
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
"Live and Unleashed" is the first Pavlov's Dog live album in the band's close to 40 year history. The violin at the centre of attention at times and turned up louder than you would fancy it to be on hard rock albums. It is by no means always right up in the front of the sounds, but, is clearly heard during several of the dog's classic tracks on the 'Live and Unleashed" album, occasionally breaking out into it's own little dimension of things. Ehem, yeah, this could surely take its toll on any traditional rock fan, just due to that darn violin cutting through everything and becoming ehem, slightly irritating. Then again, it never stopped Jethro Tull from having a dozen of die-hard fans and this live album is after all dedicated to Sigfried Carver (their original violin player who sadly passed away in 2009 - RIP). Some will say its beautiful violin rock melodies while others will simply think it's too much to bare in the long run.
Speaking of irritating, did I mention the voice of Surkamp? No, I don't personally find him all too irritating (at least not for the moment), but I completely understand if you simply can't stand vocals 'ala 'Geddy Lee on laughing gas'. Unique is supposed to be a positive thing, no? The Pomp/Prog sound of the band is definitely dated and not nearly as interesting some 35 years down the road, I would guess? To be honest, the overall material is lacking memorable melodies and it's more a question of being a cult band rather than sensational firstclass 'metal' act of the past. Going through older songs mixed with "Heart Of Mine" (originally a Hi-Fi song from the early eighties with folk-rock musician Ian Matthews) and "Wrong" and "Looking For My Shadow" from Surkamp's solo album 'Dancing On the Edge Of A Teacup' and four songs from the 2010 'Echo & Boo' album, the bottomline: they are really not intended for the 'eighties' music fan.