Stacks: Lambchop – “What Else Could It Be?”

Lambchop have multiple live releases, which for some reason are mostly limited in availability and almost never discussed. Live at Merge XX is their easiest to find and might be their best. I scribbled some thoughts for the latest Stacks:

Lambchop has been described as many things, but rarely have they been called rollicking. But that’s exactly the word I’d use for this version of “What Else Could It Be Today?”, with it’s horn stabs and barreling jangle, it’s percussive piano, and soulful and heartfelt lead vocal from Kurt Wagner. The Nashville Nightcrawler (the comic book nerd in me has always wanted to call him that) is at his most emotive; breaking as he pleads, dropping low and cracking high. It sounds like he’s stalking the stage, eyes closed, as he throws his whole body into line after line. But the whole arrangement is that way, a full body charge that careens nearly out of control. In contrast to the reserved studio coolness of the Nixon version it sounds almost like another band.

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