Spillage - Bootleg Livewired

Spillage - Bootleg Livewired

(CD, Private, 2017)

It has been always hard to judge a live-recorded album when considering the post-processing and the possible re-recordings to make everything sound perfect. However, and contrary to the studio recordings, making this perfect, kind of defeats the purpose of having a live album. Nowadays, with the digital recording, it is quite easy and, most importantly, cheap for a band to make a live-recorded album sound pristine. So, unless it is something special, I kinda look the other way and prefer to go to a concert and get a first-hand taste of how a band sounds live. In the case of SPILLAGE’s “Bootleg Livewired” it was the other way because I had first seen the new SPILLAGE lineup onstage, and therefore, getting this CD was my chance to confirm what I was thinking during the set.

In fact, I have seen SPILLAGE live before the lineup changes, so I had my basis set to make a fair judgment. The obvious change is Elvin Rodriguez who is the new voice of SPILLAGE, and right off the bat I realized that his onstage presence gives the band a whole set of dynamics. The second upgrade was the addition of a full-time keyboard player, Paul Rau, and this has given more depth in the SPILLAGE sound, while putting the spotlight on the band’s ‘70s influences. I should underline that I reached to both of the above conclusions after watching the band live, before even throwing “Bootleg Livewired” into the CD player. The Hammond-sounding intro of “The Darkness” puts the keyboards on the spot and in a way reveals where this lineup is heading in terms of evolving its sound. And this gets even better when Elvin starts singing, being the best icing on this Heavy / Doom cake. Yeah, the pounding groove is still there and maybe you can find some TROUBLE references hidden behind the guitar riffs. The ‘70s references take one step forward in the faster “Live In Fear” where the keyboards have a louder voice in the mix, fitting the SPILLAGE sound like a tailored suit without dismissing the Doom groove. Speaking of groove and TROUBLE, the new song “To Be A Free Man” has a handful of those, and is a great teaser of the band’s upcoming studio album. Even though this was recorded live, the mix is balanced and therefore, you get to hear how the keyboards enhance the fat rhythm section topped off by Elvin’s wide-ranged and a tad harsh singing. “The Road” turns towards the classic Heavy Metal sound, with the focus on the double guitars which in a bizarre way the riff reminded me of MERCYFUL FATE and their “Melissa” era, and this is said in a positive way of course. The last taste from the soon to be released album belongs to the tracklist closer “Disappear”; this one slows down the bpms, having the bass on the driver’s seat before going BLACK SABBATH on you with another hard-hitting groove.

Like I said, “Bootleg Livewired” is an effective way to (re)introduce SPILLAGE after the two lineup changes, highlighting the unmistakable upgrades in the band’s sound, while prepping the way for the new studio effort, titled “Blood Of Angels”. Now, I am super curious how all the things I noticed in “Bootleg Livewired” are delivered with a proper studio recording, steering away from the bootleg setting. You should check this yourself on the band’s Bandcamp page HERE.





01. The Darkness
02. Live In Fear
03. To Be A Free Man
04. The Road
05. Call It Freedom
06. Disappear


Tony Spillman - Guitar
Nick Bozidarevic - Guitar
Chris Martins - Drums
Billy McGuffey - Bass
Elvin Rodriguez - Vocals
Paul Rau - Keyboards