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Hey Pete... - 85%

Vim_Fuego, August 8th, 2004

There is some debate over how "live" this album actually is. Some claim it was recorded in the studio. The liner notes say it was recorded October 31st 1991 at Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. However it was recorded, Pete Steele and the rest of Type O Negative were having a bad day, and couldn't be happier.

Early in their career, the band were largely misunderstood, alienating the undeserved right wing following Steele's previous band Carnivore had picked up. They simply weren't hardcore enough for the skinheads. At the same time, the Gothic crowd who later championed the band, were scared off by the double kick drum flourishes, and thrash outs in many of the songs, but at the same time were drawn in by the melancholic, introspective lyrics, the theatrical vocals, and the doom laden keyboards and dirge–like arrangements.

Right from the start, the band are taunted with chants of "You suck, you suck!" but continue to play anyway. The jeers continue through the first song, originally titled "Unsuccessfully Coping With The Natural Beauty Of Infidelity", but more popularly known as "I Know You're F**king Someone Else". And the song winds it's way through pipe organ Gothicism, acoustic sections, hardcore sing–a–longs, a Scottish accent, and thrash metal kick outs. It sounds a mess, but is an incredibly listenable epic.

The between song abuse between Steele and the audience is a treat, as are the moments when it all goes wrong. Third track "Gravity" breaks down completely, and in something reminiscent of Bad News or Spinal Tap, the band has to stop for an apparent bomb threat. "I guess this ain't your lucky day, huh? Let's just get this over with," mutters Steele as the band returns to the stage and blasts through a raucous version of "Pain". There's a silly but fun take on "Hey Joe", with Steele's mournful moan and the trademark lumbering juggernaut guitar and bass sound adding some seriously sinister overtones Jimi Hendrix would never have dreamed of. The show ends with a rollicking romp through a reprise of "Kill You Tonight", a cheerful ode to murdering an unfaithful lover, complete with cheesy New Romantic "whoa whoa" backing vocals, and a silly accent, sounding like a cross between Crocodile Dundee and EastEnders. There's an ill–advised cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" tacked on the end. It doesn't fit Type O Negative's style, so the less said the better.

This whole album is surprisingly good fun from a band who are meant to be miserable bastards. It also benefits from losing the infamous original artwork — a close–up picture of an asshole stretched so far as to make your eyes water!